Sahwa's funding from national budget "legal"

10/02/2012 12:46 BAGHDAD, Feb.10 (AKnews)- Funding the Sahwa Councils' members from the national budget is "legal" due to the "significant" role the Councils played in securing the country, an official said today.

Amer Khuzayee, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's advisor for national reconciliation affairs, told AKnews that funding the Sahwa (Awakening Councils or Forces) from 2012 budget does not contradict with the Iraqi Constitution.

The Sahwa forces are not affiliated with any political parties, he said, "but are exploited to counter terrorist cells and restore stability."

The Councils, labeled by the U.S. forces "Sons of Iraq" were shaped in 2006 by tribal leaders in Anbar. After a successful experience in the province, the Councils
spread over the other Iraqi provinces, with a total of 100,000 militants.

The Iraqi government has already began recruiting the tribal forces in the Iraqi army and police but the process is too slow.

Each Sahwa member is granted $360 USD (350,000 IQD) as his monthly salary.

By Mohammed Tayyeb

Edited by Abdullah Sabri