That’s sure to lessen jihadist fervor in Iraq. From AP, with thanks to DC Watson:
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq’s new prime minister announced an agreement Monday by nine political parties to dissolve their militias, integrating some of the 100,000 fighters into the army and police and pensioning off the rest to firm up government control ahead of the transfer of sovereignty.
The plan does not cover the most important militia fighting coalition forces — the al-Mahdi Army of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — or smaller groups that have sprouted across the country since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003.
Nevertheless, the announcement by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is seen as a significant step toward extending the control of the central government that will take power at the end of the month. The agreement, if it works, would also significantly reduce the threat of civil war after the U.S.-led occupation formally ends. …
“We want to disband the Badr Brigade and to enable its members to join the new Iraqi army and police forces and serve the new Iraq,” said Dr. Haitham al-Husseini, a top official in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which controls the 15,000-strong Badr Brigade, a Shiite group.