Senior Andean Correspondent
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Jan 29, 2013

Analysis: Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – Across Iraq’s western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day.

Their demands are many, but the old Iraqi flags from Saddam Hussein’s era and Sunni tribal colors fluttering among them are a clear message to Maliki: Enough, our time has come again.

Jan 23, 2013

Iraq telco Asiacell share offer to be a sell-out – bookrunner

BAGHDAD, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell’s
$1.35 billion share sale will be fully subscribed, bookrunner
Rabee Securities said, though a top bourse official and some
local investors were more cautious about the country’s largest
ever stock listing.

As the first major flotation since a U.S.-led invasion
toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, Asiacell’s share offer is seen
as a test of confidence in the OPEC member’s economy, which is
recovering from years of war and economic sanctions.

Jan 18, 2013

Iraqi Kurds defend oil policy, reject BP Kirkuk deal

BAGHDAD, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Kurdistan has defended
its oil policy as constitutional, and rejected a deal between
Baghdad and BP for an oilfield in the disputed city of Kirkuk as
an “illegal” step in the autonomous region’s feud with the
central government.

The statement came after Iraq’s oil minister said Baghdad’s
government would sue companies exporting crude from Kurdistan,
warned of cuts to the self-ruled region’s federal budget and
announced an accord with BP in Kirkuk.

Jan 13, 2013

Iraq Sunni leader urges reforms to end protests

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki should reform laws seen as unjustly marginalizing the country’s Sunni Muslims or mass protests could spiral out of control, a top Sunni leader said.

Thousands have taken to the streets in Sunni stronghold provinces for three weeks of daily protests, posing the sternest test yet for Maliki’s fragile government composed of Shi’ites, Sunnis and ethnic Kurds.

Jan 11, 2013

Tens of thousands of Sunni Iraqis rally against Maliki

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Iraqi Sunni Muslims took to the streets in Baghdad and other cities after prayers on Friday, in another show of discontent with Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Three weeks of mass protests reflect deep discontent among Sunnis who say Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government has marginalized their minority community, increasing worries Iraq may slide back into the sectarian violence of its recent past.

Jan 9, 2013

Iraq PM’s foes demand he face questioning in parliament

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Opponents of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday demanded he appear before parliament for questioning in a second attempt to force a vote of no confidence, as the Shi’ite leader faced Sunni Muslim protests.

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Sunni strongholds across Iraq for more than two weeks, increasing fears that turmoil in neighboring Syria may help tip Iraq back into the broad sectarian violence it suffered a few years ago.

Jan 8, 2013

Iraqi Sunnis, Kurds boycott cabinet to back protests

BAGHDAD, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Iraqi Sunni Muslim and Kurdish
ministers boycotted a cabinet session on Tuesday to show support
for protests that are threatening Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki’s fragile cross-sectarian government.

Thousands of protesters have demonstrated and blocked a key
highway in Iraq’s Sunni provinces for more than two weeks to
challenge Maliki, a leader many Sunnis feel has marginalised
their community a year after the last U.S. troops pulled out.

Dec 21, 2012

Iraqi Sunnis accuse Maliki of crackdown, tensions flare

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Sunni leaders in Iraq accused Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of a crackdown on Friday after troops detained a Sunni minister’s bodyguards, triggering protests in one province and threatening to reignite a crisis a year after U.S. troops left.

The incident with the finance minister’s staff came hours after President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who has mediated among Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish factions, left for Germany following a stroke that may end his steadying influence over politics.

Dec 21, 2012

Iraq’s Sunni leaders accuse PM of crackdown

BAGHDAD, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Sunni leaders accused
Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of a political crackdown
after troops raided the finance minister’s office and home,
threatening to reignite a crisis a year after the last American
troops left.

The raids and detention of the Sunni minister’s staff came
hours after President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who often mediated
among the fractious Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish blocs, left for
Germany after suffering a stroke that could end his moderating
influence in Iraqi politics.

Dec 20, 2012

Ailing Iraq leader in Germany, succession scrap looms

BAGHDAD/BERLIN (Reuters) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived in Germany on Thursday for medical treatment for a stroke, leaving behind a potentially messy battle to replace the Kurdish statesman.

The 79-year-old former guerrilla, who was admitted to hospital on Monday night, has mediated among Iraqi Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds, and in the growing dispute over oil between Baghdad and the country’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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