ASIA/IRAQ - Violence: Chaldean Patriarch praises initiative of Muqtada al Sadr

Thursday, 1 September 2022 middle east   oriental churches   area crisis   shi'ites   paramilitary groups   geopolitics  

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Faced with the new wave of chaos and violence in Iraq, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako praises Shiite leader Muqtada al Sadr, "who had the courage and human and national responsibility" to call his followers to withdraw and end parliamentary siege and demonstrations in the so-called "green zone of Baghdad to avoid further bloodshed".
The Iraqi cardinal, who in recent days took part in the consistory convened by Pope Francis in the Vatican for the appointment of the new cardinals, hopes that the other parties are also ready to make decisions and make concessions and "for the good of Iraq and the Iraqis" by finding "authentic and effective solutions that respond to the real desires of the citizens for peace, stability and the promotion of economic development". The Patriarch's statement concludes with a quote from the Beatitudes of Jesus: "Blessed are they who make peace".
Unrest broke out in Iraq on Monday, August 21, after Muqtada al Sadr, leader of the coalition that won the October 2021 elections, announced his intention to withdraw from political life. According to his own statements, he wanted to demonstratively denounce the political deadlock that has prevented the formation of a new government since the new parliament took office. As a result, supporters of Mouqtada Sadr took to the streets in several cities and in the capital, occupying the presidential palace and other government buildings, among other things. Armed clashes broke out. There were nearly 40 dead and hundreds injured in a twenty-four hour period before Shia Imam Mouqtada al Sadr issued a nationally televised speech urging his followers to return home.
As part of the protests, Muqtada al Sadr's supporters called for the dissolution of parliament and new elections. An option that has gathered bipartisan support in Iraq's political and institutional spheres in recent days. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 1/9/2022)