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After a decade of chaos in Iraq, the violence still continues as an unrelenting saga of brutality, characterized by deepening sectorial hatred killing thousands of people and covering the streets with blood, torched vehicles, funerals, debris and grief continues. But even after so many years the road to peace is nowhere in sight.
According to a report by Iraq Body Count or IBC (independent body administrated by Conflict Casualties Monitor, UK) “overall nearly 9500 civilians died in violence in Iraq this year, which is almost equal to the 2008 figure, when 10,000 were killed.”
Over the last ten years, the situation in Iraq has shifted like dunes of the desert, but like the sand, the problems have not disappeared – just rearranged themselves. The Iraq war might officially have ended but the battle is still raging.
The Washington Post recently reported “over the eight months of escalated violence has sparked fears that the country may be returning to the widespread bloodshed of 2004-2007 that saw tens of thousands people killed each year.”
The war that broke out with the US-lead invasion back in 2003 is still going on but now with ethnic and cultural motivations within Iraqi sects. They are deeply divided over their influence and power in the country and how they are being treated by Al-Maliki government.
Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan Al-Maliki is the 74th Prime Minster of Iraq and succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. He is currently on his second term as Prime Minister. He is also the acting Interior Minister, National security Minister and Defense Minister.
In the end, there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found nor any evidence of Saddam Hussein’s Al-Qaeda links which were the basis for the invasion of Iraq at the time. Thereasons for the outbreak of war are controversial to discuss and therefore the approach to decoding them has to be a careful one.
The current situation in Iraq, according to the BBC, is described as “bombings at bus stations, cafes, restaurants and even mosques have become a part of everyday life. More than 400 people have been killed in attacks in Iraq in December 2013 alone, mostly in the capital”
Iraq today is badly divided between the Shia-led government and the struggle for power by the Sunnis, as well as the interests of the Kurds and other forces. This is gradually devouring the whole society from within and crippling the possibility of dialogue and diplomacy as a solution.
According to Fox News, UN Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov said “The level of indiscriminate violence in Iraq is unacceptable.” soon after UN released report on the death toll in Iraq during 2013.
The sectarian rift emerged with apparent discriminative behavior towards the Sunni population by the Shia-led government. There have been reports of instances where Sunnis were targeted, arrested and interrogated and were forced to exile last year.
According to the Washington Post, “Iraq has experienced a wave of sectarian violence since April, when security forces broke up a Sunni Protest in a bloody crackdown. Since then militant attacks have swelled, and Shiite militias have grown more active.”
Civilian casualties, loss of property, orphaned children, devastated families and widespread social and economic unrest; an uncertain future is what the war in Iraq has brought, but still life goes on amid all the suffering and sorrow.Violence now has become the common experience in Iraq where people are trapped between the Shia-led government, the growing influence of Al-Qaeda, Sunni agitation and other elements that provoke unrest.
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