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Shiite lawmakers present draft plan for dividing Iraq

[JURIST] The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance [BBC profile] presented a draft plan for dictating the division of Iraq into autonomous regions to the Iraq National Assembly [official website] on Wednesday. The draft law reportedly provides for autonomy for the Shiite-majority south and recognizes the existing autonomy of the three northern Kurdish provinces. This arrangement possibly leaves the Sunni Arabs, who comprise most of the population of the oil- and resource-scarce center of the country, without access to Iraq's oil-generated wealth. The draft law is subject to parliamentary review, but Shiite and Kurdish members dominate the Assembly.

The Assembly voted Tuesday to renew the country's state of emergency [JURIST report], in place since November 2004 [JURIST report] and calling for a civilian curfew and a total ban on the carrying of arms, for an additional 30 days. AFP has more.

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