Iraq has a long way to go before it can achieve a credible level of prosperity and stability. Such a state cannot be achieved without ensuring security in all parts of the country. Having said that, it is also critical that all groups come together to support the nation and lead its progress.
The government of Prime Minster Nouri Al Maliki has been facing many challenges. His authority and that of his government have been questioned on many occasions — not only for its ineffectiveness, but more so for its serious lack of authority.
The current government has been unable to bring about much-needed stability in Iraq. In addition, it has failed dramatically in bringing all the various groups together, thereby creating a national unity platform that envisions a stable future for the country.
The voices of protests against the Al Maliki government have been steadily getting louder as was witnessed recently and many parties have come together to highlight their dismay at the manner in which the country’s affairs are being run.
Lawmakers and politicians have objected to Al Maliki’s attempts to sideline them and monopolise power. Last Friday, members of the largely Sunni bloc, Iraqiya, which also includes Shiite members, openly called for Al Maliki to step down. In April, provisional elections are scheduled, which will be the first in the country since the overthrow of Saddam Hussain.
Such outright protests should not come as a surprise, given the fact that Iraq remains a defragmented nation and has yet to begin a real process of nation-building. However, such a goal seems to be far from reality.
The country is still suffering from a continued wave of violence, with bombings taking place in various parts. The bloodshed does not recognise the political, religious or ethnic leanings of the tens of thousands of innocent civilians who are falling victims to the attacks. There is an urgent need for consensus as much as unity in policy and direction in Iraq as the country cannot afford to be at war with itself.