Elizabeth Boyle, Staff
Since President Biden has taken office, one can see a string of international communications with many countries including Germany, China and now Iraq. The U.S. military and the United Nations (U.N.) will be working with Iraq to help the country recover from a recession, move forward with the Parliamentary election and help prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State extremist group (ISIS).
In 2014 ISIS moved into Iraq, took control of Iraqi cities and militarily acquired large portions of Iraqi and Syrian territory. The U.S. and Iraq worked together in a military campaign to reclaim Iraqi territory and save innocent civilians. In the campaign, the U.S. led the airstrikes and Iraq led the ground action. ISIS was finally pushed out of Iraq in 2017, but many cities had been destroyed and thousands of people were killed.
In order to move forward in rebuilding Iraq, solidifying government control and deterring future attacks, Iraq is now focusing on its government elections scheduled for Oct. 10, 2021. Iraq does not have a history of free, fair or accurate elections. In an effort to enhance the upcoming election’s legitimacy, the Iraqi government has recently sent a letter to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) asking for election observers. The U.S. has agreed to provide $9.7 million to UNAMI to help with the election and its preparations. In addition, Iraq will enhance its own security.
The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for UNAMI, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, has said that the Iraqi parliament has passed legislation for funding of the election, to include registration of all the eligible people in Iraq. This legislation still needs to go through the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court to be finalized. The Federal Supreme Court also certifies election results.
In the upcoming months, the U.S., in coordination with UNAMI and the Iraqi government, is planning to recover from the pandemic, have economic and political reform and keep its citizens safe while preparing for the election.