Sunni MPs boycott Iraq parliament over sectarian violence

Sunni MPs boycott Iraq parliament over sectarian violence
2 min read
20 January, 2016
The Iraqi Forces Coalition announced its boycott of Tuesday's parliament session over anti-Sunni violence in eastern Iraq, demanding the disarmament of the Shia militias blamed for the attacks.
The Coalition demanded the disarmament of Shia militias [Getty]

Iraq's parliament suspended its meeting on Tuesday after Sunni Muslim MPs boycotted the session over violence targeting their community in eastern Iraq, according to the independent al-Sumaria TV channel.

MP Nahida al-Daini, a member of the Iraqi Forces Coalition, told The New Arab that parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri also boycotted the session.

"We will decide whether the boycott will be temporary or final, depending on the government response to the violations in Iraqi provinces, particularly in Diyala," she said.

The Coalition also urged Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, himself a Shia, to dissolve and disarm the Shia militias blamed for the anti-Sunni attacks.

Daini added that the events in the Iraqi province "cannot be tolerated".

The Coalition was referring to recent retaliatory attacks on the Sunni community after the Islamic State group's claim of responsibility for twin blasts targeting Shia in the town of Muqdadiya in Diyala, about 60 miles (90 kilometres) north of Baghdad.

The IS attack killed at least 42 people, while security authorities have not yet released an official death toll for the retaliatory anti-Sunni attacks in Diyala.

Residents have since reported attacks on Sunni mosques and businesses.

The United Nations issued a statement condemning the mosque bombings.

"Once again, places of worship are being attacked. The perpetrators want to incite sectarian violence, in a desperate attempt to take the country back into the dark days of sectarian strife," said UN Iraq representative Jan Kubis.