Interior minister vows to fight ‘sectarianism’

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Azzaman, October 21, 2014

The newly appointed Interior Minister says he is determined to cleansec Iraqi security ranks of ‘sectarian elements’ and build national security organs.

Mohammed al-Ghabban won parliament’s approval for the extremely powerful position in Iraq, which is normally occupied by a Muslim Shiite.

The ministry Ghabban leads is accused of building security organs on the basis of sectarian affiliation. Federal police and security organs are tainted with sectarian tendencies and mired in corruption.

“The ministry I am going to lead should be belong to all hues of the Iraqi people and not only one particular sect,” Ghabban told Azzaman.

The heavy-handed polices Iraqi security forces pursued mainly in predominantly Sunni areas are reported to have caused mounting resentment of the government and pushed many Sunnis to welcome Islamic Sate militants in their areas.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi completed his national government last week when Iraqi MPs approved new defense and interior ministers.

Ghabban, A Shiite, has been appointed interior minister, while Kaled al-Obeidi, a Sunni, has been confirmed as defense minister.

Besides his vow to fight sectarianism in his ministry’s ranks, Ghabban has promised to battle corruption in his ministry and sectarian tendencies.