Top Iraqi Sunni leaders are expressing growing disquiet today about their lack of role in the Abadi government, despite the Shi’ite-dominated leadership’s promises of inclusion.
“Are we part of Iraq?” asked former Deputy PM Rafi Essawi, one of several former top officials attending a Brookings Institution event to complain about their lack of posts.
Nineveh Governor Atheel Nujaifi, whose province is overwhelmingly under ISIS control, went on to complain that the Iraqi government had gone to great efforts to talk up backing Sunni fighters against ISIS in his province, but had never provided them with the weapons they were supposed to.
Nujaifi went on to say that if Nineveh was ever recovered, it ought to be given the status of an autonomous region, much like Kurdistan has in the northesat.
Essawi, for his part, didn’t fault Abadi for the problems, saying he had “inherited a very damaged political and security situation” and was simply too weak to follow through on his promised reforms.