iraq’s new women’s affairs minister: ‘women should have freedom to wear what they want’

Bayan Nouri has a tough job over the next four years – the new Minister for Women’s Affairs in Iraq must try to improve the economic lot of Iraq’s women, prevent systemic domestic violence against females and work on problems like female genital mutilation and underage marriage as well as somehow help the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women affected by the current security crisis. One thing she won’t be doing though is banning polygamy. by Alaa Latif in Sulaymaniyah more

low supplies, political disputes in anbar: not long now before extremists take over

Last week, fighters from tribes in Anbar were forced to give up their hold on the town of Wafaa to extremists from the Islamic State because they ran out of ammunition. And they ran out because apparently the Iraqi government won’t supply them. The steady defeat of anti-extremist tribes in Anbar and a new political dispute among them seems to be bringing the whole province closer and closer to total control by the Islamic State group. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

article 140: the elephant at the negotiating table as kurds and iraqis reach oil deal

Over the past week or so, there have been many congratulatory articles written about the fact that Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan seem to have come one step closer to resolving long standing differences. But, observers say, there is one very important topic that has been left out of all the discussions: Article 140. This legislation is meant to force a decision on Iraq’s “disputed territories”. Leaving it out of the current conversation could cause even more problems in the long run. by Haywa Ridha in Sulaymaniyah more

death verdict for sunni mp: is iraqi govt really genuine about sunni-shiite reconciliation?

While members of the Sunni Muslim al-Bu Ulwan tribe were fighting extremists in the Anbar province, alongside the mostly Shiite Muslim military, judges in Baghdad sentenced a politician from the tribe to death. The tribe says it feels like Baghdad has stabbed it in the back. Other Anbar locals are left wondering how genuine attempts at reconciliation really are and say they will turn to the US rather than Baghdad. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

iraq's shiite militias to the rescue: force for sectarian unity or thorn in anbar's side?

Shiite militias are making inroads into the mainly Sunni province of Anbar. Previously Anbar's Sunni tribes have not allowed the controversial militia groups in but now one tribe has invited them to help. Things are becoming ever more complex in Anbar and the arrival of US troops, who, it seems, will be staying at the same base as the Iran-sponsored militias, are complicating things further. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

interview speaker of kurdish parliament - our people are right to ask: why bother to stay with iraq?

In an interview, the Speaker of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Parliament, Yusuf Mohammed, discusses his government’s historic decision to send troops into Kobani, Syria, why the export and production of Iraqi Kurdish oil is justified despite Baghdad’s protestations and whether Iraqi Kurdistan is still thinking about secession from Iraq. by Zanko Ahmad in Erbil more

spokesman for iraqi kurdish govt: ‘new us airbase in erbil no threat to iran’

NIQASH interviewed Safeen Dizayee, the spokesperson for the government semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. During a candid and wide ranging conversation, Dizayee spoke about why the US is building a new airbase in the region, where exactly Iraqi Kurdish oil is going and whether refugees in the region are being maltreated. by Hiwa Barznjy in Erbil more

new awakening? locals in kirkuk slowly but surely turn against extremists

Sunni Muslim extremists continue to kidnap, execute and otherwise impose their authoritarian rule on locals in the areas they control, such as in southwestern Kirkuk. Slowly but surely though, local resistance against them is growing. Tribal leaders suggest an organized, salaried force is in development. by Ahmad Mohammed in Kirkuk more

new iraqi govt doomed to spend all year fixing problems caused by previous regime

During his last days in power, Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made senior appointments in the government and military to try and shore up his power. Now new MPs want to reverse some of those decisions as well as share power more equally between the different branches of government and the participating political parties. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

who do iraq’s ‘disputed territories’ belong to? 'the land is for those who liberate it'

What will happen to Iraq’s “disputed territories” once Sunni Muslim extremists have been driven out? Will the Iraqi Kurdish military, who now control some of it, insist on staying? Or will conflicts between the Iraqi Kurdish and the Iraqi army make for the country’s next crisis? NIQASH gathers opinions. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Berlin more
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