Demonstrations in Oraq against UN Security Council resolution, army abolition

In the Iraqi town of Baaquba, 65 kilometers north-east of Baghdad, a mass demonstration of protest was held on Tuesday against the recent Iraq resolution of the United Nations Security Council and the decision of the Iraqi provisional administration to abolish the army. Demonstrators condemned the UN Security Council resolution and said it "legalizes the country's occupation." They called an intervention in the internal affairs the recent decision by Paul Bremer, head of the Iraqi civilian administration, to abolish the army. In the Iraqi eyes, the army symbolizes national dignity, they said. And also, the army has never been a tool of oppression.

On the same day, a demonstration of protest against the disbanding of the Iraqi army was held in Baghdad. A hundred and a half of Iraqi army men gathered outside the former Saddam Hussein palace now used as the Paul Bremer residence.

"The Iraqi army is not a military formation of a party or a leader. It is the army of the state, the people. It cannot be disbanded by Paul Bremer's decision. It is the prerogative of the government of Iraq," Colonel Feisal Shabib of the republican guard said in a conversation with the RIA Novosti correspondent.

"Americans have deceived us. Their propaganda said they want to give us freedom and democracy. So what? 400,000 people have been thrown into the streets. There in the United States they care for the rights of pet animals. In Iraq they leave hundreds of thousands of people without means of subsistence and don't give a damn about their rights," said the colonel.

"The army is part of Iraqi society, one of whose problems today is lack of security," said another demonstrator, warrant officer Muhamed Hashim. "Together with the coalition forces we must ensure security in the country. Instead, they are making new enemies of us. The problem of the army and servicemen must be solved and their legitimate rights observed. Otherwise, a clash between the Iraqi army and the American force of occupation is unavoidable."

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