Saddam Hussein has been buried overnight in his native village of Awja. The head of Saddam’s Albu Nasir tribe said the burial took place in the early morning. Muslim tradition requires that burial takes place less than 24 hours after death. Awja, near Tikrit in northern Iraq, is where the former dictator’s two sons Uday and Qusay were also buried after being killed by US soldiers three years ago.
The former president was hanged yesterday for crimes against humanity. Yesterday’s execution has been widely condemned in the European Union, where the death penalty is not permitted. “Saddam Hussein has been condemned by an Iraqi court and this execution has been carried out,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We respect the decision but it is known that the German government is opposed to capital punishment”.
Aside from the moral issues concerning capital punishment, analysts are divided as to whether the execution will close a chapter or on the contrary provoke more conflict. Britain’s former ambassador to Iraq Sir Harold Walker : “One must hope that we’re looking forward to a new era in which the Iraqi government will be able to proceed with reconciliation, but I don’t think it’s easy to be optimistic.”
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said he feared the execution would increase tensions in the area.