Middle East

Iraq's Hashed to reinstate 30,000 members

Haider al-Jabbouri, a disabled parliamentary elections candidate, is seen in a wheelchair, in Kerbala, Iraq September 1, 2021. Picture taken September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Saed

BAGHDAD: At least 30,000 former members of Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi are to be reinstated and receive their salaries, the paramilitary coalition that helped defeat the Islamic State group announced Monday.

The announcement, which came weeks before the country's October 10 parliamentary elections, follows months of demonstrations by ex-members whose jobs had been terminated.

Ahmad Assadi, a leader of Hashed's bloc in parliament, said in a statement the finance ministry had give the green light for the reintegration of 30,000 members into the force, which operates formally under the umbrella of Iraq's security apparatus.

Most of them had been sacked between 2015 and 2018, Assadi told AFP, with absenteeism the most common cause.

Hashed al-Shaadi, set up in 2014 to back up the Iraqi army, has more than 160,000 members and is comprised of dozens of mostly pro-Iran Shiite groups.

Faleh al-Fayyad, a senior Hashed official, said on television that the organisation would use its own funds to finance the rehiring operation and urged the government to re-enrol others who had been laid off.

 

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