Members of Iraq’s Awakening Council rallied north of Baghdad today, complaining that the Maliki government had reneged on the promises of employment after being placed under direct Iraqi control. The United States has transferred the vast majority of the militia’s forces to the Iraqi government since October.
Yet while US forces continue to point to the nearly 100,000-strong militia as a model of reconciliation in Iraq, they concede that only around 5,000 of them have actually been given jobs in the security forces – despite Maliki’s pledge that they would all get jobs in the police or in other ministries.
This is just another reminder of the distrust that remains between the Shi’ite dominated government and the Sunni militias enlisted by the United States to fight against the insurgency. Many of them only abandoned their own opposition to the US-installed government on the promises of jobs – it remains to be seen how long they are willing to wait for employment that, as the Iraqi government struggles with the drop in oil prices, may never come.