iraqi pm threatens corrupters again and mps demand actions
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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As More Than 3,000 Missing In Mosul

Iraqi PM threatens corrupters again, and MPs demand actions

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Arab Today, arab today Iraqi PM threatens corrupters again, and MPs demand actions

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
Baghdad - Najla Al Taee

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been calling on combating ISIS and expelling it militarily from the Iraqi territories during 2017, and now as the year is coming to an end he has started talking about fighting corruption in Iraq in 2018.

He said that corruption in his country is caused by organized mafias and prominent figures as most MPs and heads of blocs agree on, such as Iraqi Turkmen MP Hassan Toran, Head of Iraqi Forces Coalition Salah al-Jubouri, member of the Commission of Integrity Mish’an al-Jubouri and member of the Iraqi Civil Democratic Alliance Shorouq al-Abayji.

"We will not allow the corrupters to steal the money again under the pretext of providing services," Abadi said in a speech at the celebration held in Baghdad on the occasion of "Victory Day,” explaining that the corrupters who seized the state funds are the ones who entered ISIS to Iraq.

He called on citizens to “unite their votes in the elections against the corrupters,” and he stressed the continuation to pursue terrorists everywhere in Iraq until the elimination of their last stronghold.

While MP Hassan Toran said that “corruption will not stop in Iraq unless senior officials are held accountable,” MP Shorouq al-Abayji believes that “the solution lies in the outcomes of the elections, scheduled to be held in May 2018.”

Abayji considers that “these elections are fateful in the history of Iraq since it depends on the citizens’ decisions. If they choose right, the fight against corrupters will be easier and will achieve the desired results.”

She said that what Abadi has earlier pointed out on regarding the relation between corruption and ISIS’s entry to the country is true, adding that the system of sectarian and ethnic quotas the greatest reason behind all the calamities people suffer in Iraq.

Toran also agreed on what Abadi’s point of view, saying that provisional parliamentary committee for investigating the fall of Mosul had proved this fact in its report, which was not published.

"One year before the fall of Mosul in June 2014, a committee from the Ministry of Defense Inspection Authority visited the city of Mosul and spoke to the military commander who was holding the ground there. 

It identified the imbalance and asked for the replacement of the brigade, but no action was taken in this regard, and this of course is a corruption, which necessarily led to facilitating the task of ISIS,” Toran added.

"Success in the fight against corruption requires the political will of the prime minister as giving statements is not enough," he said, pointing out that the end of corruption in Iraq can not be announced unless senior officials are held accountable for their corrupting acts.

On the other hand, Abdulrahman Saad was taken from his home in Mosul by ISIS, leaving his family in limbo.

They asked ISIS security offices about where he could possibly be. When the operation to retake Mosul began, they heard he was being held in the western part of the city, with hundreds of other prisoners. But when the area was liberated, they found no trace of Saad, the 59-year-old owner of a wholesale food store.

“Life without my father is difficult,” says his son, Rami. Without him, the Saads struggle to get by, and his wife whines for her spouse.

In their misery, they have company. Since Mosul was declared liberated in July, residents have submitted more than 3,000 missing-persons reports to Nineveh’s provincial council, according to council member Ali Khoudier. Most of them are men or teenage boys. Some were arrested by ISIS during the group’s extremist rule; others were detained by Iraqi forces on suspicion of extremist ties.

Regardless, Iraqi government bureaucracy, inefficiency and neglect have left thousands of families across Iraq hanging as the country’s leadership celebrates the defeat of ISIS.

In a small garden outside of a Mosul courthouse, dozens wait to hear if investigators have news of their missing relatives. They cling to thick files of papers: identity documents, official forms, family photos and missing person advertisements from a local paper. It is unlikely they will hear good news.

“It will be years before these people know what exactly happened to their relatives,” said an investigator, as anxious relatives tapped on the windows behind his desk and hovered at his office door.

The investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Iraqi government doesn’t have enough forensic experts to exhume the dozens of mass graves discovered as territory has been retaken from ISIS. And the country’s judicial system isn’t equipped to efficiently process the thousands of detainees scooped up by security forces.

Some 20,000 people are being held at detention centers across Iraq on suspicion of ties to ISIS, according to a report from Human Rights Watch this month.

In Anbar province, where victory was declared in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah more than a year ago, more than 2,900 people remain missing, according to Mohammed Karbouli, a member of Iraq’s parliamentary committee on defense and security from Anbar.

He said those missing from Anbar are becoming a symbol of the lack of trust between Anbar’s mostly Sunni residents and the Shiite-dominated central government in Baghdad.

When parents don’t know the fate of their children, he warned, “tensions emerge.”

Just south of Mosul, an unthinkable number of Iraqis are believed to be buried in a natural sinkhole that became one of the ISIS most infamous mass graves. Some Iraqi officials estimate as many as 4,000 people were tossed into the cavernous, natural crevasse in the barren desert on the road linking Mosul to Baghdad— some already dead, others still living and buried alive.

ISIS “would bring them and make them get out (of the car) and line up at the edge of the hole,” said Mohammed Younis, a resident of the area, recounting the weeks and months leading up to the fight for Mosul. “They would line them up and then they would execute them. And the bodies would all fall into the hole.”

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