RealNews

Rival Former Exile Groups Clash over Security in Iraq

Tensions have emerged between two influential formerly exiled political parties in Baghdad over control of Iraq’s rapidly proliferating security organisations. The growing number of Iraqi-financed private military companies had already sparked concern that secular leaders may be developing militias to match the paramilitary forces under the command of religious and Kurdish political groups. Now Ayad Allawi’s Iraqi National Accord has accused the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmad Chalabi, of undermining central authority by backing the creation of a private military company to secure the oil sector. Mr Allawi is head of the security committee on the interim Governing Council and his deputy, Nouri Badran, runs the interior ministry which controls more than 50,000 police. The sparring between Mr Chalabi and Mr Allawi dates from the 1990s, when both men led separate attempts to overthrow Saddam Hussein. While Mr Chalabi is close to the Pentagon and advocates redrawing the Middle East political map, Mr Allawi is regarded as closer to the CIA and fears further upsetting the status quo would inflame the region. Full Story

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