https://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/features/2019/09/04/feature-03

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Security |

Iraq reinstates 55,000 former soldiers

By Khalid al-Taie

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Iraqi soldiers receive combat and physical training at a camp in Baghdad on April 15th. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence]

A total of 55,000 former soldiers have returned to service in the Iraqi military since June, the Iraqi Defence Ministry announced Wednesday (September 4th).

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi ordered in June the reinstatement of all military personnel whose employment contracts were discontinued, said ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji.

"The decision includes all military personnel whose contracts were terminated after the ISIS gangs invaded Mosul on June 10th, 2014, because they were unable to report to their units," he told Diyaruna.

Their inability to report to service was due to several reasons, he said, including suffering injuries related to terror attacks, their areas being overtaken by ISIS, or their military units getting restructured and withdrawing to alternative locations.

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Former Iraqi soldiers attend an information session at a Ministry of Defence centre dedicated to receive requests for military reinstatement on July 18th. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence]

"The centres we opened on July 9th in all provinces, including in the Kurdish region, have to-date received about 55,000 former servicemen," said al-Khafaji.

They have started undergoing medical examinations and training courses "to hone their skills and physical abilities before they are assigned to military units", he said.

"We are keen to grant all military personnel the right to resume their former positions," he said, noting that this stems from the government's commitment to "put to good use those human resources to strengthen the military".

Meanwhile, the ministry has on September 2nd opened enrollment for anyone with a medical, engineering, or language degree to join the Iraqi army.

This move comes as part of the ministry's plan to beef up its ranks with individuals with scientific and specialised expertise in order to raise the army's technical readiness, he said.

The ministry, in co-operation with the international coalition and NATO forces, are continuing with their plan to develop the Iraqi army's capabilities in various military fields, he said.

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Brother, does this pardon include those who escaped in 2013?

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These are lies. The [Iraqi] Ministry of Defence hasn’t reinstated any personnel [to the army] until now.

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From 2010, will they return under a pardon or what? Please enlighten me.

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A good step. We hope to have a strong Iraqi army to defend our land, heritage and borders so no aggressors may enter Iraq to loot our wealth. We also hope that all the personnel of the defence and interior ministries will be reinstated. We hope the government will open the door for volunteering into the army and police for those aged between 17 and 35 years. Now, most of young people are unemployed, and this way, they can join the army and police and avoid illegal acts. Thanks a lot!

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I have a primary certificate. I don’t have a chance to live, I swear by the Qur'an, and I don’t have an income or a supporter. I’m staying at a house which I inherited. God Almighty is my supporter. I’ve applied to the Popular Mobilisation Forces, Hezbollah, but there is no salary. I hope that those concerned will look at my condition from a father’s point of view. God Almighty is the granter of success. Your brother, Sayyid Mustafa al-Yasseri.

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God bless all those who have helped with the return of personnel whose contracts had been terminated! May God reward you!

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I think that the administrative and financial orders will be issued in 2020 for the return of army personnel whose contracts had been terminated.

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The Ministry of Defence is lying; I’m one of those people whose contracts had been terminated, but I haven’t been reinstated.

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Does the Iraqi government know that it has done injustice to those of personnel who have been interviewed and checked since 2017, and who are still waiting to be enrolled in training courses?

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