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Maliki calls on Saddam officers to return to army

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I'm not sure ALL officers are wanted back but this sounds like amnesty will be granted to senior generals in the Republican guard on down to those officers who physically carried out Saddams orders, even if his orders were deemed to be lawfull or not;

 

Maliki calls on Saddam officers to return to army

 

(Reuters) 16 December 2006 BAGHDAD - Iraq's Shia prime minister called on Saturday for the return of all officers of Saddam Hussein's disbanded army in a political overture to disaffected Sunni Arabs aimed at reducing sectarian violence. Nuri Al Maliki made the call at a national reconciliation conference of Shias, Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians meant to halt communal bloodshed that has raised the spectre of civil war and was a major reason for US President George W. Bush's decision to review his Iraq strategy. A senior politician from the powerful Shia Alliance said representatives of some Sunni Arab insurgent groups...

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s Shia prime minister called on Saturday for the return of all officers of Saddam Hussein’s disbanded army in a political overture to disaffected Sunni Arabs aimed at reducing sectarian violence.

 

 

Nuri Al Maliki made the call at a national reconciliation conference of Shias, Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians meant to halt communal bloodshed that has raised the spectre of civil war and was a major reason for US President George W. Bush’s decision to review his Iraq strategy.

 

A senior politician from the powerful Shia Alliance said representatives of some Sunni Arab insurgent groups were in attendance, but delegates said participants’ names would remain undisclosed.

 

“The new Iraqi army is opening the door to former Iraqi army officers. Those who do not come back will be given pensions,” Maliki said, in remarks in which he also told leaders to embrace reconciliation as a “safety net from death and destruction”.

Shortly after the US invasion to topple Saddam, US administrator Paul Bremer dissolved the Iraqi army, a move experts said drove many Sunni Arab soldiers and officers into the mostly Sunni insurgency fighting the Shia-led government.

 

Iraqi officials said Maliki’s call was also part of a four-step plan to speed up the transfer of security from multi-national forces to Iraqis. The plan includes expanding Iraq’s forces, get them better training, equipment and weapons.

 

The Defence Ministry has recruited former Saddam officers but limited the invitation to junior officers. Maliki’s plea, addressing a long-time demand by Sunnis, was the first extended to all ranks.

 

The US military has been training the new, 300,000-strong Iraqi army as part of a plan eventually to withdraw its 135,000 troops. Bush and Maliki last month agreed to speed up training.

 

The conference, which officials said was attended by figures from Saddam’s former Baath party who have been living abroad since his ouster, takes place against a backdrop of violence that U.N. officials estimate kills more than 100 people a day.

 

Armed groups

 

Maliki’s Shia-led coalition government, which took office seven months ago, has said it would not talk to armed groups with “Iraqi blood on their hands”, a comment aimed mainly at Sunni Islamist Al Qaeda. But it has extended an olive branch to armed groups that stop fighting and join the political process.

 

“I know that there are armed groups here today but I don’t know who they are,” Rida Jawad Takki from the Shia Alliance told Reuters.

 

Iraq has held conferences before that were designed to bring about reconciliation but they failed to stop sectarian killing or bring into the fold some disaffected Sunni groups.

 

“If things remain the way they are this reconciliation conference will resemble its predecessors,” said Saleem Al Jibouri, from the Accordance Front, the largest Sunni bloc.

 

Many participants, some talking off the record, cast doubt that the conference would bring immediate solutions.

 

“This conference does not have a magic wand to change things overnight,” Takki said.

 

“The only positive thing about this conference is that people are talking to each other,” said another official.

 

Hours before the conference opened in the Green Zone, Iraqi special forces backed by US troops killed one militant and arrested six people during raids against a death squad leader in the Baghdad Shia stronghold of Sadr City.

 

Sadr City, a crowded Shia slum of 2 million, is a stronghold of the Mehdi Army militia loyal to radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. US commanders and Sunni Arabs accuse Mehdi militiamen of being behind many of the sectarian attacks and kidnappings that plague Iraq. Sadr denies the charges.

 

Delegates said they planned to discuss militias as part of a series of four workshops. Sunni Arab leaders accuse Shia militias of infiltrating the police to carry out killings.

 

Maliki has resisted US pressure to move against militias, which are tied to political parties in this coalition. He has said militias need a political rather than a military solution.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle...ion=focusoniraq

 

 

Maybe Sunni officers could bring discipline and stop Sunni death squads in exchange for a Shia agreement to end violence on those who only happened to be born Sunni ?

 

 

Seems that is the overall plan but can the two Arab Islamic sects practice "forgive and forget"?

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Former Iraqi officers reject PM's call to join army

A statement issued by former officers distributed in several Iraqi cities last night and this morning rejected the call made by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urging them to join the new army.

 

A statement issued by the "Society of demobilized officers" expressed rejection of Al-Maliki's call for the officers to join the army, saying that "it is an army of collaborators with the occupation," as "armies around the world are founded to fight invaders and not to cooperate with them to perpetuate the occupation."

 

This statement was distributed in several areas in Baghdad. It was also hung on walls in Al-Fallujah, Al-Ramadi, Samarra, and Mosul in northern Iraq. It is known that most officers of the former army hailed from these areas.

 

According to the statement, the officers set conditions for joining the army. Among these conditions were setting a timetable for the departure of the occupation troops from Iraq provided that this timetable does not exceed six months, dismantling the current army and restructuring it based on former structures and hierarchies, and sending the current army's senior officers charged with crimes against civilians to neutral international or Iraqi courts.

 

It is worth noting that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, called, during the inauguration of the national reconciliation conference yesterday, Saturday, on officers of the former army to join the ranks of the current army, as part of the efforts being made by the government to put an end to violence in Iraq.

 

 

 

http://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/12720

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