Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blackwater denied licence to operate in Iraq

Denied licence to operate

The U.S. Private Military Firm (PMF) Blackwater Worldwide was denied a licence for operating in Iraq forthwith. The Iraqi Ministry of Home Affairs oversees the licencing of PMFs in Iraq.

Blackwater history in Iraq

Blackwater has operated in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of 2003. It was charged with protecting officials of the U.S. State Department which was initially responsible for overseeing the Civil administration of Iraq and later the transfer of authority to the Iraqi government. Former Governor of Iraq Bremer amended Iraqi law in such a way that employees of PMF could not be held accountable for their actions in order to ensure that U.S. State Department personel would receive maximum protection by the PMF bodyguards.

Securing the U.S. Governor of Iraq

Blackwater was the number one PMF contracted by the Americans for bodyguarding in Iraq. They were responsible for guarding the governor of Iraq with a security detail of three small helicopters and 24 bodyguards.

Popular discontent with presence of PMFs in Iraq

In 2007 Blackwater became the center of controversy when they massacred 17 civilians in Nisour square in central Bagdad. Since then the Iraqi public has been very hostile towards the presence of the firm in their country.

A cooldown in Iraq - U.S. relations

The fact that the Iraqi government is trying to get rid of the group that is guarding U.S. Diplomats may indicate that they are trying to distance themselves from the U.S. which coincides with new U.S. President Obama´s intention to decrease U.S. in Iraq while increasing efforts in Afghanistan.

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