For immediate release 13thFebruary 2016

Call to disband paramilitary and popular mobilization forces, as barriers to reforms, national reconciliation in Iraq, and victory over DAESH

Iran-backed paramilitary forces which operate as criminal groups or in the guise of popular mobilization forces are today the main cause of sectarian conflicts, killing and murder, ethnic cleansing and population displacement in Iraq. They are driving the country towards internal conflict and ultimate collapse. In addition, these groups have turned into mafia-style murderers, kidnappers, robbers and drug-traffickers. 

Regrettably, the government of Haider al-Abadi has not taken action to dissolve the paramilitary groups despite international demands and calls by religious authorities and political forces in Iraq. The popular mobilization forces are now a tool in the hands of criminal elements such as Nouri al-Maliki, Hadi Al-Ameri, and Abu-Mahdi Mohandess, who are in turn the most important agents coordinating the destruction of Iraq, fueling sectarian war and facilitating the emergence of DAESH. The people of Iraq have been demanding their prosecution in their weekly demonstrations for many months. 

In a new act of aggression, the paramilitary forces backed by the Iranian regime have taken control of the houses and commercial buildings belonging to Christians in Baghdad. These Christians left Iraqi due to the appalling security situation. (Al-Jazeera TV and Al-Hayat, February 7, 2016).

On January 27, 2016, Human Rights Watch wrote in its annual report that paramilitary forces like the Badr Corps, Asa'ib Ahl al-haq and Kata'ib Hezbollah, most of which are Shi’ites, have grossly violated human rights and international humanitarian laws. They have destroyed the houses and commercial businesses in Sunni neighborhoods they had recaptured from DAESH.

EIFA calls on the government of Iraq to attend without delay to the humanitarian conditions in Fallujah, which has been taken over by these paramilitary forces to prevent the starvation of tens of thousands of citizens. Dozens of people have starved to death so far. According to Faleh al-Essawi, vice president of the Provincial Council of al-Anbar, starvation is prevalent in Fallujah and there are no food supplies or medical equipment in the city. (Al-Arabiya TV, February 1, 2016).