Campaigning for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Democracy, the Rule of Law and International Justice
Conference on the Status of Armed Forces and Groups in Iraq
No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and International Alliance for Justice (IAJ), in cooperation with the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Kurdistan National Assembly–Iraq, and with the support of the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, organised a Conference on “The status of Armed Forces and Groups in Iraq”, held in Dokan (Kurdistan region, Iraq) from 9 to 10 November 2008.
The conference was part of the series of events organized by IAJ and NPWJ with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where senior Iraqi policy-makers discuss the allocation of competences between federal, regional and provincial administrations, in order to promote an open space of dialogue which benefits from the experiences of other federal countries and post-conflict and post-authoritarian transitions.
The objective of the Conference was to facilitate an in-depth debate between major Iraqi political actors on options and conditions for the demobilisation of militias and private armies and/or their absorption or integration in a composite Iraqi Army, including the Regional Corps, as a pluralistic and inclusive force, loyal to the Iraqi Federal Constitution and respectful of the diversity of citizens with different backgrounds.
The division of armed groups along political lines and the militarisation of society present a real challenge to the political stability and security of Iraq, and even when various armed groups may have already integrated -or partially integrated- they may retain previous loyalties, which may re-emerge in time of conflict or dispute. Therefore the conference examined the most current status of political debate and the current deployments of security sector forces on the ground and included topic such as the role of armed forces in the federal and regional administrations, taking into account also the relevant international experiences in these fields.
Participants included Deputy Speakers and Members of both the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Kurdistan National Assembly, political leaders and representatives of Iraq’s national and regional institutions, taking into account the broadest possible political, geographical and community representation. Senior non-Iraqi experts brought into the debate their respective experiences on integration and reform of separate military forces and present possible choices and options from other demobilisation and military mergers.
At the end of the Conference, participants adopted a Final Communiqué stressing the urgent need to create a national army, as a pluralistic and inclusive force, loyal to the Iraqi Federal Constitution and respectful of the diversity of citizens with different backgrounds.
Presentation of the Conference
For more information, please contact Lorenzo Vicario, Coordinator of the Iraq Projet, email: firstname.lastname@example.org – phone: +32 2 548 39 10