Abadi to purge Iraq's interior ministry of Maliki supporters

Abadi to purge Iraq's interior ministry of Maliki supporters
Iraq's new prime minister implicated in plan to "cleanse" public and security services of supporters of his predecessor.
2 min read
17 November, 2014
Abadi has been Iraq's prime minister since September [Getty]
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has reportedly been "cleansing" the country's security services of supporters of his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki.

Abadi has fired dozens [Ar] of military commanders, and now all eyes are turning to the "notorious" ministry of interior.

"Abadi took a decision to cleanse the Ministry of Interior from all suspicious and corrupt figures who also remain loyal to Maliki," a source in the National Alliance told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

"Changes will include deputy ministers, advisers and lower ranks," said the source. The ministry's most senior deputy minister, Adnan al-Asadi, is also thought to be in the firing line.

"The process will take place over several stages, as Abadi wishes to avoid stirring debate and the alignment of the expelled officers from both the interior and defence ministries against him, with support from Maliki."

Risky business

The prime minister's campaign of sackings will extend to the national and federal intelligence apparatuses, the source said.
     There are dangerous high-level mafias in the ministry.
- Anonymous National Alliance source

"The decision to cleanse the ministry of interior is not as easy as one might think," said our source. "There are dangerous high-level mafias in the ministry, and the decision to expel them could pose a serious unavoidable threat against Abadi.

"There is a great deal of corruption within the ministry, such as fake names in high positions, receiving salaries and benefits, as well as bribery between senior officials."

An end to corruption?

Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammad Salem al-Ghabban  announced earlier this year that corruption or negligence would not be tolerated in the archaic ministry.

"There are reports that do not reflect the truth about the ministry”, he told reporters. "Modern technology will be introduced in the ministry just like in neighbouring countries."

Political analyst Mohammad Abdul Khaleq said that Abadi's policies differed "significantly" from those of Maliki.
     Abadi is taking fast steps towards bridging the divides created by Maliki.
- Mohammad Abdul Khaleq, analyst

"Abadi is taking fast steps towards bridging the divides created by Maliki between the sects of the Iraqi people, and between Iraq and its neighbouring Arab countries," he told al-Araby.

Abdul Khaleq believes that Ebadi has "learned a lot" from Maliki's mistakes.

"He started with settling disputes between political parties and with neighbouring countries, as well as cleansing the security apparatus. Thus, we understand that he will continue to clean up all the country’s institutions."

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.