Iraq: opening of the conference on “The status of armed forces and groups in Iraq” organised by NPWJ and IAJ in Dokan (Kurdistan, Iraq)

9 Nov, 2008 | Press Releases

As part of a series of events organised by the International Alliance for Justice and No Peace Without Justice, and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, senior Iraqi policy-makers and representatives of all political groups are meeting in Dokan, Kurdistan-Iraq to discuss the status and future of armed forces and groups in Iraq.

In the opening session, addressed on behalf of the Kurdistan Region by H.E. Kosrat Rassoul Ali, Vice-President of the Kurdistan Region, and Sheikh Hamid Rasheed Maala MP, on behalf of the Iraqi National Assembly, and with contributions from Dr Adnan Mufti, Speaker of the Iraqi-Kurdistan Parliament, and H.E. Maurizo Melani, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Iraq, and the organisers, Mr Bakhtiar Amin, the International Alliance for Justice, and Dr. Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, No Peace Without Justice, there was clear appreciation of the importance of maintaining open and clear lines of communication during Iraq’s difficult period transition through free and frank forums of this nature.

The dominance of armed groups aligned with political and local leaders is in many ways a consequence of, but also a reason for, widespread political instability and internal insecurity in today Iraq and constitutes a threat to the democratic process and the holding of free and fair elections, as well as providing potential inroads for external threats.

The purpose of the conference is to examine the perspectives and challenges on the allocation of competences and confidence building in the integration or dismantlement of Militias, Regional Corps, Awakening groups and other armed groups. By including representatives from national, regional, and local levels of government, and with senior policy makers from the full range of political groupings, the Conference aims to facilitate an in-depth debate, identifying areas of both consensus and disagreement as a basis for further political discussion on this topic .

Building on previous events considering related aspects of practical federalism in Iraq, the Conference aims to confront a range of questions on the future form and purpose of Iraq’s armed groups and armed forces, as part of a process of promoting the peaceful resolution of differences, and strengthening the rule of law, democracy, and federalism within Iraqi society. This includes a discussion 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.

With two days of discussions scheduled, the opening session has already suggested broad consensus on the urgent need to create a unified and genuinely national armed force; pluralistic in its composition, respectful Iraq’s citizens in all their diversity, independent of political differences, and loyal above all to the Iraqi Constitution.

For more information, please contact:

In Dokan, Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, +964 770 89 36 518 or +32 494 533918, email:

Lorenzo Vicario, Coordinator of the Iraq Projet, email: – phone:+32 2 548 39 10