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News Release
Coalition Provisional Authority

For Release on June 5, 2004
Contact: Pepper Bryars
1-703-343-8208 or

Armed Forces and Militia Agreement Announced

Baghdad, Iraq -- The Coalition Provisional Authority announced today the successful completion of negotiations on the nationwide transition and reintegration of militias and other armed forces previously outside of state control. As a result of this achievement, the vast majority of such forces in Iraq – about 100,000 armed individuals – will enter either civilian life or one of the state security services, such as the Iraqi Armed Forces, the Iraqi Police Service, or the Internal Security Services of the Kurdish Regional Government.

This agreement includes all individuals that have borne arms on behalf of nine major political parties – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Iraqi Islamic Party, Supreme Counsel of the Islamic Revolution in Iraqi/Badr Organization, Iraqi National Accord (INA), Iraqi National Congress (INC), Iraqi Hezbollah, Iraqi Communist Party, and Da’wa. All of these parties have accepted detailed plans, timetables and terms for the complete transition and reintegration of the armed groups under their authority.

While recent news has associated the term “militia” with the sort of violence orchestrated by Muqtada Al Sadr, in fact most of these groups and individuals were part of the resistance against Saddam Hussein’s regime. To reward these former resistance fighters for their service, opportunities have been created for them to join state security services or lay down their arms and enter civilian life. Those who choose to enter official security forces will be able to safeguard their communities and their country, and good use will be made of their skill in building Iraqi security forces and meeting Iraq’s new security challenges. Those who choose to return to civilian life will receive valuable job training and other benefits.

With these negotiations done, CPA is releasing Order 91, which activates the Transitional Administrative Law’s ban on militias and other armed forces outside of state authority except as provided by federal law. CPA Order 91 provides for the orderly, timely, and complete transition and reintegration of the armed groups controlled by the participating parties. According to agreed plans, about 90-percent of the 100,000 individuals affected will have joined state security forces or entered civilian life by the time of Iraq’s first elections, and the remainder will do so within a few months thereafter.

The forces of the parties that accept this process will begin transition and reintegration promptly; indeed some have already done so. Those awaiting transition or reintegration will be designated “Residual Elements,” to be registered, monitored, and regulated by the state. A small percentage will be transformed into Private Security Companies under strict regulation of the Ministry of Interior. As of now, all armed forces outside of state control, as provided by Order 91, are illegal. Those that have chosen violence and lawlessness over transition and reintegration will be dealt with harshly.

The completion of these negotiations and the issuance of Order 91 mark a watershed in establishing the rule of law, placing all armed forces under state control, and strengthening the security of Iraq. The CPA applauds those parties that have worked so openly and closely to get Iraq to this important point and calls on them to continue this cooperation during implementation. The coalition is pleased that this result has been achieved at the very moment the Iraqi Interim Government is formed, thus giving that government and the Iraqi people a clearer path to a secure future.

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