ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Defense Minister, Najah al-Shammari, on Thursday ordered the transfer of a number of senior officers to the country’s military courts on charges of corruption.
The defense ministry in a statement posted on its official Facebook page said Shammari ordered “the transfer of a number of officers and commanders of high ranks to the competent military courts on charges related to corruption.”
The ministry did not name the officers or their exact rank.
Corruption continues to make waste of the resources of oil-rich Iraq, whose revenue is already strained by declining oil prices and increased spending due to the high costs of the war against the so-called Islamic State and lagging reconstruction of destroyed areas.
Baghdad declared victory over the terrorist organization over three years ago but the war still continues as the government has launched multiple military operations to seek out Islamic State remnants and sleeper cells destabilizing the country.
Successive Iraqi federal governments have not been able to limit the pervasiveness of corruption. The current government, who ran on a reformist platform, continues to struggle to address the widespread mismanagement of public funds while facing strong resistance from within its own institutions.
During their sessions addressing the matter last year, the country’s Supreme Council for Combating Corruption has only settled a limited number of small-scale corruption files.
Iraq has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, its citizens suffer from extreme poverty and high unemployment rates.
According to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Index, Iraq ranks 168th, the 12th most corrupt country out of a total of 180.
Editing by Nadia Riva