Bloody spring in Baghdad

Ten years after American intervention, the fighting over power and the religious conflicts between Sunnites, who ruled the country for centuries, and Shiites, who currently have the majority in the parliament and also conquered the majority of provincial seats on the first elections after the withdraw of the American troops, don’t seem to diminish.

In 2009, President Obama, when announcing the abandonment from Iraq by the American military forces, affirmed that a long-term solution in Iraq should be political, not military, and that the decision about the future of the country should be made by the Iraqi people. The US strategy, in concert with the Iraqi people, envisaged a “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant” state. To accomplish that goal, the Obama administration would promote a government that is representative and doesn’t provide support to terrorism while also being aware that the future of Iraq is inseparable from the future of the broader Middle East. According to President Obama‘s words, the US had sent its troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime and to help establish a sovereign government.

However, as of today, Iraq remains a country profoundly pervaded by corruption and victim of an inadequate judiciary system. The United Nations has condemned the increasing recourse to death penalty, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has underlined how several convictions have been based on confessions obtained under torture. The government has claimed to exclusively execute individuals who have committed terrorists acts or crimes against civilians, but Navi Pillay has objected, saying that the Iraqi law makes the usage of the term “terrorist act” too broad and vague. Commissioner Pillay wishes for a moratorium like the one already approved in Kurdistan.
The UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, has urged the Iraqis to engage in dialogue to overcome the “deep political crisis” facing the country and expressed his concern for both the escalating violence during the last weeks and the attempts of censorship, reminding us that freedom of press is a fundamental pillar for democracy. For now, the clashes and political instability push Baghdad, the “City of Peace,” closer to the civil war.

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Claudia Pellicano

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