[A-List] Iraqi south threatens secession
soncu at pacbell.net
Thu Aug 12 01:45:46 MDT 2004
Iraqi south threatens secession
Aljazeera, Tuesday 10 August 2004
Basra Deputy Governor Salam Uda al-Maliki has said he is to announce the
separation of some Iraqi southern governorates from the central Baghdad
Informed sources told Aljazeera that al-Maliki said the breakaway province
would include Basra, Misan and Dhi Qar governorates.
He also wants to shut Basra's port and in effect stop oil exports.
Al-Maliki said the decision was taken because the Iraqi interim government
was "responsible for the Najaf clashes".
He has not outlined the steps for the implementation of his proposal.
Ali Hamud al-Musawi, head of the Misan governorate council, told Aljazeera
al-Malki's decision was a normal and a logical reaction.
"The feelings of Iraqi southerners in particular and Iraqis in general had
been contempt," al-Musawi said.
"This reaction comes in response to the crimes committed against Iraqis by
an illegal and unelected government, and occupation forces who claimed they
came to liberate Iraq, but it turned out that they have come to kill
Iraqis," he added.
Al-Musawi expressed support for what he described as "our brothers in Basra"
and announced that negotiations were going on regarding the activation of
"We are discussing the decision and we will stop Misan's oil flow, until
Baghdad's government restores its logic and realises that millions of Iraqis
care for the people of Najaf and Karbala," he said.
"Iyad Allawi should not expect us to support him," he said. "We expected
this government to give us justice, democracy and freedom," he added.
Al-Musawi said the interim government did not open communication channels
with Iraqis and used force against them instead.
"We support the unity of Iraq when there is an Iraqi government that
acknowledges all people's rights," al-Musawi said.
"The government should not make irresponsible decisions and attack our
religion," he added.
State minister of the Iraqi interim government, Adnan al-Janabi, has played
down the breakup call.
"The deputy of Basra governor is merely an Iraqi official in the municipal
council of Basra, and does not represent the government," he said.
"We do not recognise him, let him say whatever he likes."
He denied reports that suggested negotiations with Shia Muslim leader
Muqtada al-Sadr were underway.
"They [al-Sadr militias] are outlawed, they must go out of Najaf," he said.
The state minister also denied that any negotiations were being carried out
with delegations from Najaf.
For some time there has been talk in Iraq that a plan exists to break the
country into three states; Kurdish in the north, Arab Sunni Muslim in the
centre and Arab Shia Muslim in the south.
Dr Dhafir al-Ani, an Iraqi political analyst and former politics professor
at Baghdad University, said he would not be surprised if the old rumour
"Nothing would shock me, we heard of the breakup scenario a long time ago,
and it seems that the atmosphere in Iraq nowadays is suitable to carry out
any pending agendas."
Aljazeera + Agencies
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