Baghdad residents protest separation wall

Hundreds of Iraqis staged a protest against the building of a dividing wall being built by US forces between a Shi’ite and Sunni district of Baghdad Sept. 12. Residents of the Shula and Ghazaliya neighborhoods waved Iraqi flags and chanted slogans rejecting both the proposed separation and the US occupation. Carrying banners reading “No to the dividing wall” and “The wall is US terrorism,” the protesters issued a statement demanding that Iraqi authorities intervene. “The wall is in accordance with al-Qaeda’s plans,” the statement said, adding that it would “separate family from family.”

Hassan al-Tai, a leader of the Sunni Tai tribe, demanded the Iraqi government act against those “planting division and sectarianism amongst Iraqis.” He told the AFP, “The wall is dividing small neighborhoods and will lead to the partitioning of Iraq. A Shi’ite cleric at the protest, Abdul Baqir al-Subaihawi, insisted the wall would provide neither security nor stability. “The government must maintain security in Baghdad rather than separate its neighborhoods,” he said. (BBC, Sept. 15)

See our last posts on Iraq, the sectarian cleansing and the civil resistance.

  1. Baghdad eases curfew for Ramadan
    But not by much. From AFP, Sept. 10:

    Iraq will ease the nightly curfew in Baghdad during the holy month of Ramadan which begins this week, Brigadier General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan, said on Monday.

    Atta said the curfew in the capital would come into effect at midnight (2000 GMT) instead of 11.00 pm but would continue to be enforced until 5:00 am (0100 GMT).

    He added that the authorities had also decided to scrap the weekly vehicle curfew that usually applies between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on Fridays, for the duration of the fasting month.

    However, vehicles will not be allowed over the many bridges that span the Tigris River and link east and west Baghdad on the Muslim day of rest.

    The vehicle curfew was introduced to thwart insurgent attacks on worshippers observing the main weekly prayers.

    The announcement of the changes to the curfew came hours after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that violence in Baghdad had fallen by 75 percent since the US military “surge” was launched in the capital on February 14.

    Seems like al-Maliki has been well-briefed on the official bogus optimism.