Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Maliki’s Awakening in the South

Posted by Reidar Visser on Wednesday, 8 October 2008 0:00

The reports keep getting more persistent: Nuri al-Maliki is apparently building ties to southern tribes at the expense of – and sometimes to loud protests from – ISCI and Badr. The latest case to receive some attention in the Iraqi press is Nasiriyya and Dhi Qar. Today, leaders of the recently-formed “support councils” (majalis asnad) of Dhi Qar will meet with local security officials, including the police chief (who was appointed by the Iraqi interior ministry and with the support of the Daawa but to strong protests from ISCI in Nasiriyya). At least one Iraqi press report suggests this is an attempt by Maliki to weaken ISCI’s local support base in the forthcoming provincial elections. Others who are unhappy about Maliki’s scheme include members of the “Council of the shaykhs of the Dhi Qar tribes” which was pro-government back in 2006. Individuals participating in that council include tribal leaders of Bani Hujaym, which also is represented on the provincial council through a shaykh who is an ISCI member.

Maliki is supported in his effort by Muhammad al-Uraybi, minister of state, who has ties to the Al Bu Muhammad tribe of Maysan and also has a Wifaq connection.

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