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Al-Sadr: ‘Government cannot be formed without dissolving armed factions’

July 16, 2022 at 10:11 am

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on 18 November 2021. [Karar Essa – Anadolu Agency]

Leader of the Iraqi political Sadrist Movement Muqtada Al-Sadr on Friday called for “dissolving all armed factions” in the country during the Friday sermon in Sadr City, as reported by Iraqi News Agency (INA).

Al-Sadr stressed: “The Popular Mobilisation Forces must be reorganised and kept away from external interference.” He noted: “It is not possible to form a strong government with the presence of disordered weapons and militias.”

He pointed out: “Most politicians have external orientations, and the supreme reference has closed its door to all politicians. If they want to form a government, they must commit to removing the occupation, and the first steps of repentance are to hold their corrupt members accountable without hesitation.”

Al-Sadr addressed former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki without naming him, warning: “Do not try to attack the experienced so that the Speicher massacre is not repeated.”

According to the government, Daesh executed around 2,000 students at the Aviation College and security personnel inside a military base known as Speicher in Salah Al-Din Governorate when it took control of the area in June 2014 during Al-Maliki’s mandate.

READ: Al-Kadhimi: ‘Iraq will not join any military alliance, position on Palestine firm’

Earlier on Friday, the director of Sadr’s office in Baghdad, Ibrahim Al-Jabri, confirmed that the united prayer: “Is a message from Mr Al-Sadr of his continuation of reforms and overcoming the political issue.”

Al-Jabri conveyed in a statement to Al-Iraqiya news channel: “The unified prayer is for the unity of the Iraqi people.”

He pointed out that after Al-Sadr demanded the resignation of MPs, reform is still at the forefront of his goals, without distinction between one governorate and another.

Large crowds of worshippers participated in the prayer called for by Al-Sadr on Thursday, with preparations and security and service measures in place to secure the prayer.