Iraq is slipping into a state of continual unrest as there is no end to the violence. More than 366 people have been killed in the previous month, including this week when violence claimed at least 75 lives, including 24 policemen.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki missed the point when he said earlier this week that he would overhaul the country’s security structures and strategy. He has failed to recognise that the increasingly sectarian politics of his government have alienated large parts of Iraqi society. Al Maliki and his government have tended to favour Shiite politicians and communities, thereby affecting the national consensus. His purges of senior Sunni politicians have not helped at all. So, when Al Maliki says “We are about to make changes in the high and middle positions of those responsible for security and the security strategy,” the vast majority of Iraqis feel that the words mean nothing.

There are groups in Iraq that are dedicated to violence and are willing to use murder to further their aims of destruction of normal society and politics. Al Maliki needs to maintain the broad consensus of all politically minded Iraqis from all religions and sects, that they do not want their country to be dragged back to a civil war. It is a tragedy that this is not happening.