ERBIL — Iraqi Shi’ite leader Muqtada al-Sadr directed his militia on Monday to hand over their arms to the Iraqi government and remain as civil or humanitarian organization.
Muqtada Sadr warned that none of the parties should use Hashd al-Shaabi in the upcoming elections on May 12 in Iraq and renewed call on the Shi’ite militias to hand their weapons over to the government.
Sadr called on his militia of Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades) to hand over their weapons to the Iraqi government and retreat from the liberated areas to allow the Iraqi army to take over the security of those areas.
He also ordered the closure of the headquarters of the militia and called on the government to open up job opportunities for the militias, or incorporate them into the army and security forces.
The Sadr Movement leader demanded the government to open the cases of the fall of Mosul in 2014 to the Islamic State (IS) and the Speicher massacre in Tikrit.
Saraya al-Salam, along with other Shi’ite militias operates under the Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq which was created in 2014 to fight the IS extremist group.
The militias from Hashd al-Shaabi however have been accused of war crimes during the fight against the IS militants, especially in the Sunni areas.