Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigerian elections: early results show close race

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"Slap in the face" for Socialists in French local elections

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigeria: Millions prepare to go to the polls on Saturday

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: And the winner is... Tense wait for election results (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: And the winner is... Tense wait for election results (part 1)

Read more

Access Asia

2015-03-30 17:45 ACCESS ASIA

Read more

ENCORE!

Jeanne Added on her classical pop-crossover

Read more

BEYOND BUSINESS

Race of ideas: is the US pulling away from France?

Read more

REVISITED

Video: A wind of freedom blowing in Kuwait

Read more

Maliki calls for Mehdi army to disband

Latest update : 2008-04-07

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an ultimatum to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to disband his Mehdi Army or be excluded from upcoming elections in October, following fierce fighting on Sunday in Baghdad's Green Zone. Lucas Menget reports.

 

BAGHDAD, April 7 (Reuters) - The movement of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr will be barred from taking part in the political process and elections unless it disbands its Mehdi Army militia, U.S. television network CNN quoted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as saying.

 

Maliki’s ultimatum will heighten tensions with Sadr’s movement and the Mehdi Army, which fought pitched battles with Iraqi security forces for six days late last month in violence that killed hundreds of people.

 

“A decision was taken ... that they no longer have a right to participate in the political process or take part in the upcoming elections unless they end the Mehdi Army,” Maliki said in an interview with CNN, according to a report posted on the network’s website.

 

Provincial elections are due by October.

 

Iraq’s political leadership on Saturday called on all parties to disband their militias before the local elections, but they did not mention the Mehdi Army by name.

 

The statement, agreed by a body comprising the president, the two vice presidents, Maliki, and the heads of political blocs, was seen as an attempt to isolate the populist cleric, who has a wide following among poor, urban Shi’ites.

 

Sadr’s movement was the only bloc to reject the statement.

 

Fresh fighting between security forces and gunmen erupted in Sadr’s stronghold in Baghdad on Sunday, killing more than two dozen people.

Date created : 2008-04-07

COMMENT(S)