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Conflicts over Iraqi Power Transition Time

Posted February. 13, 2004 22:38,   


“Which part will the U.N. take sides with?”

As for the methods of power transition from the U.S. to Iraq, local Shiite Muslims, the biggest Muslim denomination in Iraq, is in a state of disorder. People’s attention is focused on the result of an inspection report which was conducted by the U.N. spot inspection team that took charge of the role of mediation.

The U.N. inspection team has conducted almost every part of their activities, weighing as to whether or not the general election can be held in advance of the power transition from the U.S.’ interim military government to Iraqi officials. People expect that the U.N. will be able to suggest a measure that will cover the concerns raised by both sides.

While facing this, some experts have pointed out that it is none other than the United States that will bring about internal trouble in Iraq.

What kind of decision could the U.N manifest?--

Lakhdar Brahimi, the leader of the U.N. inspection team interviewed Ali al-Sistani, Grand Ayatollah of the Shiite Muslims for close to two hours who asserted the advancement of the schedule of the general election which was originally scheduled to be held in the next year, in advance of the power transition by the form of direct election.

It has been known that the two people consented with the principle of an early stage general election, but could not reach a practical agreement. The meaning of “early” does not indicate as to whether the exact date of the election is before June 30, which was suggested by the U.S., or after that. In addition, Brahimi even added the proviso, “We should steadily prepare for the election in order to get the result that does not disappoint anyone.”

The negotiated measure, which covers each side’s opinion, is to reflect the U.S.’s view that early election is hard to accomplish, but also to advance the date of the election as much as possible, would likely to be selected most people anticipate.

In accordance with this, U.S.’s defense secretary, Colin Powell has expressed that they can postpone the period of power transition itself. Appearing on the Representative’s International Relationship Council on February 11, Powell remarked, “We expect that the power transition will be carried out in the end of June,” adding, “But we still possess a difficult security problem.”

Kofi Annan, the general secretary of U.N., has planned to give the final decision as to the point of election holding time, based on the U.N. inspection team’s report which is scheduled to be handed in by February 21.

Anxieties are stirred as to the additional terror attacks—

Shiite Muslims have not conceded their point that the brand-new Iraqi government should be organized in advance of the power transition date through the direct election method. But, the United States maintains that free elections are hard to hold when the security of the state remains unstable.

Shiite Muslims even started to warn that on February 12, “U.S. armed forces will be seriously attacked.”

In addition, the Arab Forum points out in their report disclosed on Al-jajira Television that, “the force which provokes the internal disorder is none other than the U.S.” This report was drawn up by the Arab Forum’s inspection team when they visited Iraq in December, 2003. It asserts that because the U.S. shuns the Sunni Muslims while supporting the Shiite Muslims and the Kurd Clans, the U.S. arouses disorder in Iraq. Also, as for the Iraqi interim government, the U.S. distributed member seats in accordance with ethnic groups and religious sects, making a foundation of factionalism.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com