Iraq: Workers in Saddam's regime re-employed

About 10,000 workers in Saddam Hussein's former regime have been re-employed as part of national reconciliation, reversing their purge after the March 2003 US-led invasion, an official said. More than 8,000 of the reinstated employees worked for the key interior and defense ministries, Rashid Najeb Saleh, the chief of the Agency for Dissolved Entities, told a news conference Sunday. "All Iraqis are under the umbrella of Iraq and now we are seeking the national reconciliation through this directorate," he said. The agency was set up by the government in 2005 to help tens of thousands of workers made jobless in the purge after the 2003 invasion toppled Saddam. The program involved purging the government of senior officials who were members from Saddam's Baath Party. But in the absence of proper records it is likely that tens of thousands of lower level officials were also sacked.