interview with yazidi princess: no future for yazidis in iraq

After Sunni Muslim extremists attacked Yazidi majority towns in northern Iraq, causing a major humanitarian disaster, the distinctive ethno-religious group is asking itself existential questions, says one of their leading female representatives. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Berlin more

iraq’s kurds head to baghdad to negotiate: ‘we want deadlines and guarantees’

Iraqi Kurdish politicians are heading to Baghdad to negotiate with the newly evolving government. Even though none of their demands have changed because none of them were ever met by the last government, the situation certainly has. And some analysts believe the only outcome can be the eventual division of Iraq. by Hiwa Barznjy in Erbil more

oil but no power: basra jockeys for bigger share in new govt

As a province, Basra provides a huge percentage of the country’s revenues, as it is home to some of Iraq’s biggest oil producing areas. However in terms of politics, the southern province has been underrepresented. Locals have heard promises of unity and equal representation made by Iraq’s potential new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Is Basra’s situation about to change? by Waheed Ghanim in Basra more

bypassing baghdad: international allies in direct talks with iraq’s sunnis and kurds

In Baghdad this week, Iraq’s most senior Shiite Muslim politicians are lamenting their increasing isolation from the international community. The EU and the US are bypassing Baghdad to support Iraq’s Kurdish forces militarily; they’re also holding meetings with Iraq’s Sunni Muslim leaders and have apparently promised to support more Sunni independence. Is this the beginning of the end of a united Iraq? by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

online iraqis throw virtual shoes at much disliked, outgoing prime minister

While a comparatively small number of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s supporters protest his removal in Baghdad, Iraqi social media was in an uproar at the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as the country’s next leader. All manner of sarcastic and disparaging remarks and pictures of al-Maliki were posted, as ordinary Iraqis celebrated the change of government online. by Kholoud Ramzi in Baghdad more

confrontation, reconciliation and cooked books: the new iraqi prime minister’s biggest challenges

It looks as though politician, Haider al-Abadi, will be Iraq’s next Prime Minister. If, or when, al-Abadi manages to form a new government there are three serious challenges waiting. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

baghdad’s ‘ministries without quotas’: new political campaign against sectarian politics

This week, as levels of violence increase in Iraq’s north, a new campaign in Baghdad provides some positive news. Around 70 activists have launched the campaign, Ministries Without Quotas, in an attempt to overcome sectarian and ethnic politics. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

mourning the magic man: ex-president talabani returns to iraq diminished

After an absence of around 19 months due to ill health, Jalal Talabani – the former President of Iraq and one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s most senior leaders – has finally returned to the semi-autonomous region amid much fanfare. Many were hoping the senior diplomat might be able to help solve some of the intractable problems the country, and Iraqi Kurdistan, is facing. Unfortunately, due to a stroke, Talabani is half the man he used to be. by Zanko Ahmad in Sulaymaniyah more

giving provinces more power: could law 21 save iraq?

How can a country like Iraq – with its different sects, religions and ethnicities – be governed appropriately? Some are now suggesting that giving all of Iraq’s provinces the powers they were granted by a law amended mid-2013 could be a way out of the current crisis. Local authorities would govern themselves better than Baghdad and Iraq would remain united. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

where do iraq’s kurds really stand: with one foot in baghdad and an eye on independence?

Ever since Sunni Muslim extremists took over the northern city of Mosul and other Iraqi territory, there has been talk of the country falling apart. Iraq’s Kurds are talking about splitting from the country and forming their own independent state. But observers are confused. Why, on one hand, are the Iraqi Kurdish speechifying about leaving Iraq and, on the other, taking oaths of national allegiance and jockeying for parliamentary power? by Hiwa Barznjy in Erbil more
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