FBA in Iraq
After the overthrow of long-term dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, a power vacuum was created, paving the way for the creation of the Islamic State (IS). In the summer of 2014, the terrorist group began taking large swaths of Iraq, and declared it their caliphate.
Following a large-scale counter-offensive, Iraq’s second biggest city Mosul was recaptured in 2017 by Iraqi government forces, with support from an American-led coalition. IS was declared defeated.
But remaining IS cells have continued to carry out terror attacks in Iraq. The country is also plagued by other armed groups. Tensions are strong between Shias, Sunnis and Kurds.
The Iraqi state lacks the ability to provide security for its citizens and to carry out succesful reconciliation and reconstruction programmes. Public mistrust is widespread in the highly politized state institutions. Another challenge is the high gender inequality.
Within the framework of Sweden’s development cooperation with Iraq, FBA is focused on one area:
Dialogue and peace mediation
Youth, especially women, have traditionally played a marginalized role in efforts for peace in Iraq. FBA is establishing a training programme for young Iraqis in order to strengthen their capacity to contribute to the ongoing peace process. Approximately 20 young Iraqis, representing different ethnic groups, different parts of the country and different civil society organizations working for peace in Iraq, will receive dialogue and mediation and gender mainstreaming training during 2019. Half of the participants are women and half of them men.
Click here to read the entire strategy for Sweden’s development cooperation with Iraq 2017–2021.
Photo: David Stanley