Refugees Struggle As Iraq Tries To Form New Government

Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, who fled a jihadist onslaught on Sinjar, gather to collect bottles of water at the Bajid Kandala camp in Kurdistan's western Dohuk province, on August 13, 2014. Scores of young men and children held a protest demanding more aid at the Bajid Kandala camp that is hosting thousands of desperate Iraqi Yazidis. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday he will not relinquish power until a federal court rules on what he called a “constitutional violation” by the president to replace him with a member of his own party.

The embattled premier has grown increasingly isolated, with Iraqi politicians and much of the international community lining up behind Haider al-Abadi, a fellow member of his Shiite Dawa party tasked by the president with forming a new government that can unite the country in the face of an onslaught by Sunni militants.

Iraqi troops imposed heightened security in Baghdad Wednesday, as international support mounted for a political transition.

In northern Iraq, thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority remain stranded in the mountains outside the town of Sinjar, which the Islamic State group captured earlier this month. The Islamic extremists view the Yazidis as apostates and have vowed to kill all those who do not convert.

The Yazidis’ plight has prompted a multinational relief effort, with Iraqi and U.S. planes dropping dozens of crates of food and water.

The BBC’s Rami Ruhayem joins Here & Now’s Robin Young from Irbil with the latest.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.

Guest

  • Rami Ruhayem, correspondent for the BBC. He tweets @ramiruhayem.
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