Research studies

Peace building and Transitional Justice in Iraq the requirements of the post-stage of ISIS



Dr. Adel.A.Thgeel – Governance Center for Public Policies 

Democratic Arab Center 

The environment produced by the stage after 2003 “the invasion, the collapse of the State, and  after decades of dictatorship,”, the civil conflicts had  blown due to the  impact of multiple internal and external factors.

At the domestic level , the political structure of the Iraqi State was since its foundation  based on sectarian and ethnic imbalances, which was reinforced in the Republican era and at the period of control of military regimes, then the totalitarian regime after 1968, after that the stage of  post 2003 to be emerged.

As the sectarian and the  ethnic structure  had led to legalization of the authority and devoting those  imbalances as well as the ethnic  and sectarian contrasts , accompanied by a state of occupation , chaos and lawlessness resulting from the proceedings that the Provisional Coalition Authority, and the corresponding from a political track, accordingly collimating to , the external factor had led, after 2003, to an escalation of tension and internal tensions in Iraq , after Iraq has become an arena of conflict and a field of  sharing of power between the regional powers , for several reasons, some of them  were  related to the new political arrangements in Iraq, while the others were related to  the existence of foreign troops in the neighbor  of those countries, or because  the influence  of both reasons together.

After the outburst and the expansion of the internal armed conflict, during the years 2006 and 2007, military and security forces managed with the support of coalition forces and Sunni tribal Awakening Groups “AL SAHAWAT” to defeat the high numbers of terrorist forces, militias, and several forces of organized crime.

The levels of domestic violence were decreased by a large rate  in subsequent years, compared to the phase of “civil conflict”, which lasted with  various and different  levels until the year 2014  at the period of ISIS invasion against  a number of Iraqi provinces north and west of the country, but the decline in domestic violence in the previous phase of ISIS had not  been faced  by procedures , action or plan to “peacebuilding “in Iraq,  or being faced with “post-conflict peace settlements”, in conjunction with the reluctance of the National Reconciliation project, which is  represented as a critical  mistake that has undermined the security of achievement , on other hand ,  led to offer   the internal environment for the return of extremism and terrorism which is represented by (ISIS), that  requires the need to take advantage of this harsh lesson in the phase after (ISIS).

Peace – building and the national reconciliation in post-ISIS

As a matter of fact, peace-building efforts require several requirements, in the  Iraqi case , the most prominent condition that the subsequent phase  of the internal conflict was concentrated in  missing  the lack of an agreed peace-building program, and the lack of collateral and credibility between the parties that  can be relied upon, as well as the absence of a third party possesses those traits and the guarantor of any political deal that sponsoring the success the  efforts for national reconciliation and peace-building, which clear  the  way for  the spoilers in order to undermine the state of relative stability through the bypass and undermine the institutional arrangements arising out of the Administration of State and rebuild the country , as well , besides employing the security, administrative and financial potential of the government in political conflicts, through the widespread administrative and financial corruption which  gripped by sectarian and ethnic quotas, especially in a period of Maliki’s second government of  2010-2014, which was characterized by the situation of exacerbation  of human rights , abuses, sectarian-ethnic marginalization, therefore, peace-building and national reconciliation process  in post (ISIS) requires three basic demands , they are as below :

First / “Power-sharing arrangements”:

The power-sharing processis considered one of the main treatments for communities threatened by civil conflicts, by giving every potential conflicted parties  a share  in peaceful cooperation, altogether , along with a group of mutual guarantees for the security, which helps to reduce the risk of conflict, but sharing power must be done within the Charter or comprehensive political agreement ,not relying on circumstantial political balancesdictated by positions of power, conflicts, and pressure,: as it was  happened in the case of Iraq,which  has become, then ,  the key base  in the State administration, especially in  the Constitution  of 2005 , that did not rise so far to the level of comprehensive  Charter for many reasons ,. no room to mention to , here.

Since the political process has tend , as a result of the failure,  and the massive corruption, with the popular public pressure  , with  the influence  of the negative regional conflicts reflections, toward scalable and towards  re-political custom rated quotas partisan characterization in of its ethnic and sectorial   framework -, ” Reforms and Ministerial Amendments of Al Abadi  Government (Prime Minister)  “, so the power-sharing can be done on two key levels:

  • At the level of Federal Government, “The Executive Authority” and the Independent Bodies:

Representing by  the promotion form  of the pluralistic  representation that reflects the social components which greatly overcoming  partisan monopolization of  ethnic and sectarian extentمحاصصة) Quotas), especially the dominance of the heads of political blocs on State authorities, including supporting governmental authority, that limits and determines the  political interference in the work of those institutions more or less, which deliver a broad support from civil and popular sectors, as well as from the  political parties, besides  senior Shiite authority, and international parties which support of the demands of reform – with the differences of those attitudes -, especially in light of the security situation and the compressing economic that  is driven towards obtaining international support for  security, economic and political of Iraq , as well.

That new political form requires a new definition of national partnership, on other hand; it requires the presence of a third party, an international ensuring this partnership. In connected with terms of national partnership form, it requires holding a conference of all political and popular parties in supporting   the political reform.

Including the opposition parties for the political process, against terrorism, for the purpose of developing a national charter to redefine the basic principles of the rule and the State, It can be relied on a document of the comprehensive reforms that was put forward by the Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi in March 11th2016 which include a detailed roadmap of political, security, economic, administrative and legislative aspects.

Those comprehensive reforms received popular support, and acceptance of the most of the political forces, that must done under the international supervision and the sponsorship of according to the international decision with the participation of regional organizations as the Arab League and Islamic Conference Organization, and the presence of influential international and regional powers and with influence of the Iraqi situation, which have influence in Iraqi situation.

As it is a possible operation in the light of the internal situations –represented by  the movement of extensive popular protest – as  the  government reforms , as the new regional situation after the international  nuclear treatment  with Iran, and the path of a political solution in Syria.

  1. At the level of local government:

The administrative and Political decentralization is one of the key ways to reduce the divisions and local and national tensions , in sharing power at the local level, through transferring  powers to the high levels of government, or to  semi-independent institutions, to ensure the promotion of political participation, development, transparency, and nation-building , as well. The structural challenges faced by the political system after 2003 resulting from the historical and political context, on the other hand were witnessed by the  effects  of external change of the former regime, and deepened in the light of the political divisions on ethnic and sectarian lines, as already noted and mentioned to, however, those  vast and dramatic ivisions are not only part of the challenges facing Iraq at this stage, there are divisions deeper into every main field , some of them  was local one or took place according to the tribal tensions, while others were because of some regional reasons  such as attention-rich oil governorates in the south, or  concentrated on the control of the shrines and holly cities for Shiites, or power struggles for control of the main Sunni regions like Mosul, others are  related to the conflict over the key  role of religion in politics and governance, whether in Shiite or Sunni communities, as well as between moderates and extremists in religious, and the Kurds who are divided  between two main groups who  fought wars in the past,but nowadays ,  Kurds relatively coexist so as to exploit the gains and the advantages in the Autonomous region self-Kurds  , as well as the conflict over what is known as the disputed areas between the Kurdistan region and the Federal Government , additionally to the rests component parties in the forefront Kirkuk the rich province .

Since Iraq, in accordance with the Constitution of  2005 had adopted administrative and political decentralization in the political system, Iraq has made significant strides in terms of the legal framework for local government, particularly due to the law No,(21)  in  2008, and the second amendment in  2013, which granted  the provinces unprecedented wide powers “in security ,administratively and financially fields”.

Actually , that path is still tarried faces many obstacles in the relationship between the federal government and local governments, It is on  a parallel track with the Kurdistan regional widely  and featured more severe, so the work on establishing   a vast legislative workshop, with the  activation of legislation and regulatory frameworks, and participating in support local and regional governance, and promting them in partnership with civil society,  the private sector, and specialized international organizations, will be  insufficient to offer and providing  the requirements of local communities, and establishing the principle of democracy and power-sharing vertically within the unity of the Iraqi State, in the consistency with the other related tracks on the partnership and national reconciliation.

It is worthy to mention , in connected  to the regions in which it is released from Daash (ISIS) , peace consolidation process relies heavily on the legitimacy of the State, this legitimacy can be enhanced with the participation of real leadership of local governments in the early recovery operations at the local level, through the provision of basic needs, such as education, water, health, electricity, as  important means to legitimize that  strengthen the local governmental institutions as part of the peace-building efforts, after that  semblance of normalcy to the local population will be returned especially those who returned  to their own areas, as the local governments know well about  the priorities and the needs of their societies, which leads also to the participation of members of these communities in decision-making processes that will impact on  their lives, as a result will  enhance and promote  accountability and transparency, this context includes , as well, improve the popular dissatisfaction with the local authorities,besides supporting measures to reconciliation and to promote social cohesion of societies shattered “broken communities”, which is the next necessary step in the peace-building, and linked in its local context, with the national framework for reconciliation contained in this paper.

Second / Transitional Justice:

In  one of their definitions represented a program for peaceful transformation of society subjected to political tyranny, it seeks to treat and heal  the legacy of large-scale excesses of the past , so as to  ensure accountability, justice and reconciliation, and establishment a society characterized by democracy , pluralism and human rights. Transitional justice consists of all judicial and non-judicial operations and mechanisms, such as the search for truth, and initiatives of the judicial prosecution, and programs for redress and compensation, institutional reform, or a suitable combination of these components , based on the standards of the most prominent of a comprehensive institutional framework and neutral independent bodies for a specific period of time, and to  abide by international rules of justice and fairness, with taking into account the political situation and the national particularities.

Iraq’s new political system,  after 2003 started  to the establishment of several institutions and bodies that have undertaken the implementation of transitional justice project in Iraq the most important one was , the Iraqi High Supreme Court ,  National Commission for Accountability and Justice, the Martyrs Foundation, Body of Suits Ownership, Institution of Political Prisoners, The Human rights Commission, these institutions initiated as  independent Institutions to , work in coordination with judicial authorities and executive bodies.

In spite of the expiration of thirteen years to embark on a project of transitional justice in Iraq after the fall of the former regime, and establishment of pluralist democracy, but that project faced many difficulties and problems led to the debacle, and to deviation in its application, as well as to  delayed of completion.

That negatively reflected on national reconciliation as a key  target to the project of transitional justice, the most prominent obstacles  was the  mistakes, a lack of strategic vision and clear-cut lead the transition project of justice in framework , terms of formulation, planning, implementation, and evaluation and more importantly setting goals, the misunderstanding or the wrong one  of the procedures for transitional justice in terms of implementation, between  a class considering it  a project to return the former regime and give them rights and privileges, and the other group considering  it  as a draft of marginalization and exclusion.

Transitional Justice had not described as an integrated project to cross from dictatorship and authoritarianism to a democratic and pluralistic system,

as it was confined in the point of views  of those who made it on two key issues:

to judge the  former regime figures, and reparation and to give compensation as if justice Transitional are represented by these couple actions only, as well as the subordination of the institutions and procedures for Transitional justice in Iraq wills to political bargaining, not the judicial proceedings and legal assets of justice imposed by the assets of criminal trials.which led to the selectivity in applying laws and measures of transitional justice, especially in the accountability and justice procedures, thereby the confidence was lost of those proceedings and make the targeted party considering the  measures for the purpose of  revenge and retaliation .Conclusively ,  this process undergone to politicization, which were built as other system institutions on quotas of ethnic and sectarian – Accompanied by a succession of crises and cycles of violence and sectarian encouragement  in Iraq, and increased , then, the complexity of the application of the transitional justice process, and worsen  problems between ethnic and sectarian components, and  increased the difficulty of solving the related files to the achievement of justice, fairness and accountability.

In accordance to the above mentioned to , it  should adopt  a series of solutions and recommendations to restore the transitional justice project back on its right track, and working to complete it so as to reach the desired goals, first of all the national reconciliation.

Among the most prominent solutions and recommendations are:

  • Restructuring of transitional justice institutions in proportion to be in cope with the new circumstances and contingent variables.
  • Establishing actual independent bodies away from the narrow quotas, based on experience, competence and integrity.
  • Those institutions work on the basis of the collective consultation and depending on the basis of national consensus in their  bodies, in their  procedures, in their  laws, and their  characters, in order to ensure mutual trust.
  • Judicial and non-judicial procedures for these clear and open and non-discriminatory institutions.
  • Setting specific time limits for the transitional justice institutions and for all actions taken to their
  • Transitional justice should include all and not for a class without the other one.
  • Transitional Justice Include in the actions before and after  2003 , as well.
  • The Iraqi government and the concerned parties to work seriously and honestly according to the  transitional justice, in to re-examine all laws , regulations and actions that lead to the achievement of transitional justice.
  • The necessity to continue and the serious and practical communicate to prosecute the perpetrators of human rights violations in Iraq, in fair and equitable trial, in front of the local and international public opinion, and not only on some of the former regime, Only for  private security and formations of  intelligence, and the recruits participating in illegal acts in addition to participants the civilians worked as security with the regime who were actively involved in the commission of such crimes, the subject of impunity or “criminal liability” is considered  for the perpetrators of enforced disappearances, torture, crimes or other serious human rights violationsone of Streptococcus issues on the subject of the experiences of the democratic transition, and there were no trials a serious, comprehensive and reasonable transitional justice is not never materialized.
  • The formation of actual committees that demonstrate data and information abuses and injustices that have occurred on the shoulders of the Iraqi people to form a national archive, called the Supreme Commission for Truth and Justice.
  • Formation of actual regional committees –regional and field one – for fact-finding, especially in the areas ravaged by the terrorist organization (Daash) to detect violations and breaches.
  • The necessity to warn the Iraqi government to establish an honest and impartial body and  working on the investigation of officials of the former regime who still holds the  position and exercise his  role in misleading the justice and isolating him immediately from office and forwarded to the competent court.

Since the isolation of the perpetrators of violations from  positions of authority , these procedures if are implemented in a fair and appropriate and accurate manner can be a legitimate part of the process of the greatest institutional reform in the transitional periods.

They can also play an important role in ensuring the non-recurrence of violations that have occurred in the past, and to prevent the perpetrators of violations of the restoration their influence and their grip on the affected population during the social reconstruction process.

  • Formation of a property Commission of disputes public and private vone (zonal), especially in areas liberated from the (Daash).
  • Issuance of a general amnesty law basing on the criminalization of Saddam’s Baath Party, not exclude the persons whom their hands stained with the blood of the Iraqis, and to be recognized  through fact finding commissions.
  • The establishment an Office of the grievances of those who were arrested unjustly their innocence were approved in cases related to terrorism, and to give them compensation, and to treat  the psychological effects to them.
  • Martyrs Foundation should not be limited to those who have suffered from the oppression of the former regime, its mandate should extend to the victims of terrorism and the martyrs of the army and the popular crowd and clans and the habitants of areas occupied by (Daash).
  • The High Criminal Court mandate to extend beyond 2003, and to include all of the victims after this date.
  • Apologizing and forgiveness is possible to be done according to  the legal and societal actions as (tribes), Apologizing is possible to be  proved through the opening records in the concerned bodies  so as  to accept the apology from the offended persons whom their  hands did not  stained with blood  of Iraqis . Forgiveness is done  by accepting financial compensation by the victims and their families, it is similar to (Blood Money) of clans , this should legalize on pages and documents , as well.
  • Legislation Act related with prohibits and criminalizes sectarianism in Iraq.
  • Rehabilitation of Baathists not involved in crimes.
  • Institutional reform in the sectors of security, justice, as well as rehabilitation of the employees of this sector, especially in the real and actual courses connected to human rights, laws and the depended legislation.
  • Reliance to form influential social committees of religious leaders and tribesmen and the cultural elites taking upon their shoulders to explain the importance of the application of transitional justice and its acceptability procedures.
  • Finding  a professional and impartial media participating in the concepts of the transitional justice , affecting on   public opinion, as well as on the practice of media settings.
  • Restructure the political, cultural and religious discourse for the purpose of achieving the goal of transitional justice.
  • Granting a greater role for civil society organizations in achieving transitional justice.

Third / Ideology against Terrorism:

Regarding to  the unique challenges posed by the terrorist phenomenon, facing and confrontation  of this phenomenon requires a multi-axis innovative approach, specifically, in the framework of the need to strengthen and  intensify the deterrent and preventive measures efforts , focusing and concentration  on the fight against the ideological framework and sociological religious extremism,it is emerged from many requirements, anti-terrorism ideology  will provide alternative solutions to the escalating violence.

So, by virtue of the hard-line and hostile nature of the terrorists It is useless  to swap them through political concessions, or an amnesty, or any other personal incentives, apart from engaging in public dialogue to show and illustrate the  opacity of their way and providing them alternatives best that acts of violence.

For the purpose of developing  the Crown scheme as a counter  ideology  must be multi-faceted framework , for the short term,   and it should  pre-empt and prevent the spread of terrorist messages by blocking the transmission of these channels, such as Web sites, as well as  the means of social communication, and publications.

In the long term, it should be targeted a mechanism the recruitment of terrorists, and this can be done through the marginalization of the Islamists of radical, strengthen ideological principles of traditional Islam, and according to this end, there is a need to accelerate and intensify the  academic research, particularly the study of various Islamic concepts that are interpreted by of radical terrorists , such concepts as Jihad and the Islamic State,

In this context, the spread of extremism and ideology of terrorism can not be stopped without the participation of religious circles, in particular, scholars, who are considered the only people who understand and can guide the counter ideological work efforts, so the active participations of  scientists, Islamists activists, are considered  crucial to supply  an incentive to talk clearly  against radical, and about the definition of religion and defend upon it.

The response against the terrorist threat will be done through education that can be implemented by engaging in the channels of the Islamic intellectual activity,the recognized methods of the transmission of religious knowledge as  the ideologues terrorists often hide as they are considered the teachers or religious counselors .

Furthermore ,  there is a need to set up a regulatory body to get rid of delinquentand deviant religious teachers, ,and the deviant  education, as well as to control the paths of upgrading or gradient senior religious position, and reducing the number and determine the quality, of the people who are involved religious guidance.

This ideologyaims to  several social frameworks, which should first of all engage in a dialogue with the deceptive / deviant groups, or holding counseling sessions, to try to induce them to the correct religious teachings, and to instill real and actual feelings of repentance and remorse for   them.

It is as similar importance  , it should be provided counseling services for the families of these misguided people , so as to break the cycle of violence, as the immediate relatives of these families may face highly vulnerable to extremist ideology, that includes, as well as reportedly,  providing opportunities of  jobs or educational opportunities for them.

Finally, in parallel with the mentioned above, general public should be targeted as well as for this ideology, in order to create awareness within the community of the danger of terrorist ideology.

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