Ex-militiaman sanctioned by US earns Shabak quota seat

Waad Qado, former commander of Brigade 30 of Shiite paramilitary earned the sole seat of the Shabak in the House of Representatives. Facebook account of Qado

By KirkukNow

A former commander of the Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF who has been sanctioned by US treasury has earned the sole seat allocated for the Shabak community per quota.

Waad Mohammed Qado known as Abu-Jaafar al-Shabaki, has served as founder and commander of Brigade 30 or Shabak Mobilization, part of pro-Iran PMF from 2014 throughout September 2020.

Qado has collected 20,827 votes, beating the seven other competitors for the quota seat of the Shabak community in the Iraqi parliament, in the province of Ninewa in the general elections that went on amid tight security procedures and has registered a low turnout record as only 41% of the 24 million eligible Iraqi voters cast ballot in Iraq's early general elections.

Coordination Framework, an umbrella for the pro-Iran Shiite parliamentary lists led by former Iraqi Prime MInister Nouri al-Maliki, commander of Badir Brigade Hadi al-Amiri, Haidar al-Abbadi, Ammar al-Hakim, Falih al-Fayadh and others, on Sunday has reject the final yet unconfirmed results of general elections declared last night by the Independent High Electoral Commission IHEC. "We were looking for the IHEC to rectify the major violations it has committed."

Back in May 2018 elections, 15 Shabak candidates won only two seats, one per quota system and another by Shiite Alliance of al-Fatih.

The Shabak community in Iraq, an ethno-religious group, are estimated be about 300,000 or 350,000 people. 60% of them follow the Shi’a sect, while the rest are Sunnis. The community’s religious practices blend elements of Islam and local beliefs.

They are scattered in the regions of Bashiqa, Bartella, Hamdaniya, Tilkef, a number of neighborhoods of Mosul and some villages of the Nineveh Plain.


Ninewa, 2021- a convoy of brigade 30 of Shabak Mobilization forces under PMF. Media of Brigade 30 

Back in July 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two militia figures, Rayan al-Kildani and Waad Qado, and two former Iraqi governors, Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan and Ahmed al-Jubouri, as perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.

Qado was designated for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity that has engaged in or whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse relating to the leader’s or official’s tenure.

"Qado is the leader of the 30th Brigade militia.  The 30th Brigade has extracted money from the population around Bartalla, in the Ninewa Plain, through extortion, illegal arrests, and kidnappings," US treasury said then.

" The 30th Brigade has frequently detained people without warrants, or with fraudulent warrants, and has charged arbitrary customs fees at its checkpoints.  Members of the local population allege that the 30th Brigade has been responsible for egregious offenses including physical intimidation, extortion, robbery, kidnapping, and rape."

Brigade 30 was deployed in the plains of Ninewa following the ousting of Kurdish Peshmerga from the disputed territories in October 2017.

In August 2019, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has ordered the Shabak mobilization to evacuate Ninewa plain yet its supporters took to the streets and blocked Mosul-Erbil highway.  

Per the new electoral law, voters from any ethnicity or religion, can vote for the quota seats within their electoral district. 67 candidates compete for the 9 seats allocated for the communities per quota.

Five seats are for the Christians and a seat for each of the Ezidis, Shabak, Sabean Mandeans and the Fayli Kurds in the province of Wassit.

The preliminary results of balloting on October 10th by the Independent High Electoral Commission IHEC, a body oversights the elections in Iraq, shows the Christian candidates have guaranteed their five seats in the capital Baghdad and the northern provinces of Ninewa, Kirkuk, Erbil and Duhok for 46,596 votes.

Babylonians (Babilioun) Movement led by Rayan al-Kildani managed to gain 4 of 5 seats of quota for Christian communities.

Al-Kildani was designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

"Al-Kildani is the leader of the 50th Brigade militia.  In May 2018, a video circulated among Iraqi human rights civil society organizations in which al-Kildani cut off the ear of a handcuffed detainee," US treasury department says

"The 50th Brigade is reportedly the primary impediment to the return of internally displaced persons to the Ninewa Plain.  The 50th Brigade has systematically looted homes in Batnaya, which is struggling to recover from ISIS’s brutal rule," the OFAC said.

"The 50th Brigade has reportedly illegally seized and sold agricultural land, and the local population has accused the group of intimidation, extortion, and harassment of women."

Kildani and Qado's factions belong to the Hashed al-Shaabi, a powerful Shiite-majority paramilitary network that includes many groups with close ties to Tehran.

Hashed leaders and Iran have been widely criticized in 2019 protests, accused of defending the very government the demonstrators want to bring down.

Many of their offices have been burned in Iraq's restive south, an active scene of anti-corruption protests.

Hashid has been formed back in 2014 per calls of Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani mid of 2014 to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS following the collapse of the Iraqi army which has later adopted the al-Hashid.

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