The speech of H.E. Minister Sinjari at al-Rafidain Forum in Iraq

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, His Excellency Karim Sinjari, the KRG’s Minister of Interior, participated in Al-Rafidain Center for Dialogue Forum in Baghdad where he gave a speech in one of the panels under the title of ‘Iraq’s security as a cornerstone for regional stability’ along with the other panelists including Iraq National Security Adviser Falih Al-Fayyadh,  Tobby Dodge, professor at London School for Economics, Lina al-Khatib from Chatham House and Othman al-Ghanemi, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff.  

In his speech, Minister Sinjari highlighted the factors behind violence and continued spread of the extremist ideology and emergence of terrorist groups.

Mr. Karim Sinjari stated that before thinking about the potential measures to confront terrorism, we have to think about the political, social, economic, religious and cultural environment and background in which terrorism grows. This is a fundamental step towards confronting terrorism and restoring stability and security. 

He also stated that Iraqi stability and security have direct impact on the security and stability of the neighboring countries and wider region, as Iraq has long borders with six countries, a population of roughly 38 million, and the religious, social and sectarian ties between the Iraqi communities and the neighboring countries as well as the trade, economic relations and existence of many border crossings and of course huge oil and gas reserves.

Therefore, If Iraq could not protect its borders and ensure internal security and stability, without doubt, it will have direct negative impact on the security and stability of the neighboring countries.

Minister Sinjari added that ensuring security and stability in Iraq and ending terrorism needs serious and brave steps to be taken by the Iraqi leaders to restore trust and rebuild confidence among the Iraqi communities to secure a better and prosperous life that Iraqi people deserve, shedding light on several steps and recommendations to achieve that goal; including:

  • Starting a genuine reconciliation process, free from revenge, through an independent judicial process to bring all criminals to justice.
  • We should admit that security does not mean to have millions of men with guns, it is comprehensive and includes a professional force with procedures and processes, technology and intelligence analysis capability which operates within the law.
  • Now it is time to start a quality reform process in the military and intelligence agencies, restructure and reorganize them based on the best international military standards, away from political, sectarian, ethnic and religious affiliation and loyalty so that they become trustworthy of all communities and become the protector of all Iraqis equally.
  • Prohibit and disarm all militia and non-formal armed groups outside the security and defense system in Iraq and ending impunity for all armed groups in any sectarian, ethnic and religious components in Iraq.
  • We should also work to prevent the spread of violent ideology in all its forms and protect our young and youths from being exposed to and to not become easy prey of extremists, and being influenced by them for takfiri, violence and terrorism.
  • Making joint effort and cooperation from all relevant institutions at the country, regional and international levels such as educational, religious government and non-government institutions, civil society groups, media outlets and agencies to prevent and confront extremism and terrorism effectively.
  • Provision of advanced technology to the security forces to investigate, monitor and screen for the purpose of strengthening security and protection as well as ensuring safety of all Iraqi civilians.
  • Development and expansion of the detention centres according to the international criteria and development of tailored programs for education and awareness raising to confront terrorism and extremism.
  • Opening tailored training courses for the security forces and employees who work in the detention centres on methods and processes to treat the terrorists to prevent the spread of violence and terror ideology and to rehabilitate the detainees.
  • Development of special educational programs in detention and reform centres to reform and rehabilitate all those who have been affected by terrorism and extremism ideology.
  • Development of a guidelines on extremism ideology for all teachers, preachers and religious leaders who work in the educational, social and religious centres and institutions to protect the young and youths from being exposed to this ideology.
  • Creation of jobs, economic and educational opportunities, social and cultural forums as well as vocational training for the young and youths to be aware and protected from terrorism and extremism ideology.
  • Starting a genuine national reconciliation, increasing more efforts to helping IDPs and the reconstruction process in the liberated areas and facilitate and assist the return of the IDPs to their homes in the liberated areas.
  • Strengthening cooperation and coordination between Iraqi Army and Peshmerga and intelligence agencies, reestablishment of joint security mechanisms in the disputed territories between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional government to ensure security and stability and safety of the communities and prevent potential risk of the reemergence of terrorists in these areas.
The full speech in English can be accessed here;

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