Sadr enters Baghdad's Green Zone as deadline ends
Muqtada al-Sadr has entered Baghdad's Green Zone to continue the sit-in as his 24-hour deadline to the government came to an end on Sunday.
The popular cleric passed through security checkpoints and entered through the main gate of the governmental safe zone where his supporters have been protesting for adequate government reforms for more than a week.
Local television broadcasts showed preparations for the arrival of the Najaf-based cleric as his supporters set up a tent at the entrance of the Green Zone where the leader is expected to stay over the course of his protest.
"Today we are at the entrance of the Green Zone and tomorrow we will be within it," the cleric warned, as he entered the gates.
Al-Sadr's Baghdad office ensured the sit-ins will remain peaceful and called on supporters of the Sadrist movement to abide by the rules and order.
On Friday, al-Sadr gave Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi 24 hours to form a cabinet of technocrats meant to replace party-affiliated politicians accused of perpetuating a system based on nepotism and patronage.
|The Green Zone is a heavily fortified safe zone that houses the Haider al-Abadi's office, parliament and all foreign embassies in the capital, Baghdad.
Addressing his followers during last Friday's prayers outside the main gates of Baghdad's restricted Green Zone, Sadr vowed to support any "reasonable" reforms proposed by Abadi and threatened to launch protests against any MPs who do not vote in favour of the reforms.
Asaad al-Nasseri, the Friday prayer preacher, had also threatened to escalate against the government if it fails to form a new cabinet by the end of Sadr's deadline, calling to hold corrupt officials accountable for what has become of Iraq today.
The Green Zone is a heavily fortified safe zone that houses the Haider al-Abadi's office, parliament and all foreign embassies in the capital, Baghdad.