Iraqi PM Warns Groups against Stockpiling Weapons

Iraqi PM Warns Groups against Stockpiling Weapons

Sunday, 24 June, 2018 - 08:15
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi speaks during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 5, 2017. (File Photo: Reuters)
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi accused on Saturday several parties of stockpiling weapons under the pretext of war against ISIS, saying that they want to use these weapons to be stronger than the state.

A military expert said that the issue of arms control is essentially a political issue, while a security expert confirmed that the procedures to end weapons’ proliferation outside the control of the State will begin next week.

"There are groups who have taken advantage of the war against (ISIS group) to stock up weapons in order to threaten the state," Abadi said at a conference at Baghdad's Defence University for Military Studies.

Abadi emphasised the importance of preserving the neutrality and professionalism of the Iraqi Security Forces excluding the influence of the parties.

"The military establishment is based on the best interest and protection of citizens," a statement from the Abadi’s office indicated, of which Asharq Al-Awsat received a copy.

The PM went on to say that the country faced a great existential challenge from groups that want to tear it apart, and “we have faced this challenge and won it with the unity of our people."

On the issue of limiting weapons to the State, Abadi stated that certain groups wanted to be “stronger than the state in order to blackmail civilians," asserting that: “this we will not allow."

"We will not tolerate that and we've solid plans to combat it," said Abadi while not referring to any one group.

"There are people who have had weapons in the past for self-defense and that's different from these armed groups. There must be no weapons outside the control of the state,” he went on to say.

The PM addressed other economic challenges facing the country and how to properly manage financial resources to provide the best services, stimulate the economy and provide jobs, adding that this needs security, which is one of the fundamentals to stimulate the economy.

"There is no corruption allowed and corruption is not allowed and we all have to stand against it," Abbadi said.

Security expert Fadel Abu Ragheef told Asharq Al-Awsat that the procedures for limiting arms to the state have not yet begun, as much as they are instructions to the joint operations and leadership of the operation responsible for the security of Baghdad.

Abu Ragheef explained that over the next few days, several operations will be revealed in addition to raids carried out by Baghdad operations during the past period of raids to many areas in the eastern outskirts of Baghdad, adding that there will be more stringent measures in this direction.

For his part, military expert Brigadier Diyaa al-Wakil said that proliferation of arms is in fact a political issue and its solution requires a political will to recognize the state as the sovereign, constitutional and legal power of possessing weapons.

Wakil stated that the absence of such will means politics had failed to reach realistic solutions to this sensitive issue.

"Security services should not be held accountable because their role is executive, while the responsibility lies with politicians because politics is responsible for the administration of the state and its institutions, including the weapons issue, which is one of the pillars of its sovereignty," he concluded.

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