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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

06 May 2004

Coalition Provisional Authority Report, May 6: Update on Najaf

Bremer Names Adnan al-Zurufi as new Najaf governor

Lawlessness in places like Najaf must cease, says Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator Paul Bremer, because there is no place for it in the new Iraq.

"There is no room in the new Iraq for the kind of lawless, self-interested behavior we have seen over recent weeks," Bremer said during a May 6 briefing in Baghdad.

"No individual is above the law. No group is beyond the law. That is why we encourage Najaf's community leaders to come forth with proposals to bring matters to a reasoned and just resolution," the ambassador said only eight weeks before the official handover of full Iraqi sovereignty.

As he made this observation, Bremer also named Adnan al-Zurufi as the new governor of Najaf. "He is the right man for the job at this time," the CPA administrator said.

Zurufi, a member of the Bani Hassan tribe, returned to Najaf in April 2003, having lived in exile after participating in the 1991 Iraq intifada. He holds a degree in Islamic law.

Bremer also said the coalition wants "to work with local authorities to establish zones in and around the holy shrines" where the only licensed weapons allowed will be carried by specially trained police.

"We will do all we can," Bremer added, "but only Iraqis can provide the leadership necessary to reinstate and maintain the rule of law."

In his first public statement, Najaf's governor called on the city's religious authorities, political parties, civil and humanitarian organizations, and all its citizens to help achieve a series of new goals including:

-- ending conflicts and disputes according to established law;
-- dissolving militias and turning in weapons; and
-- allowing official police forces to handle security issues.

On the economic front, Zurufi also said a new employment center will be opened in Najaf in an effort to address what Bremer referred to as economic paralysis brought on by the lawlessness spread by the elements under the control of Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The complete transcript of the remarks by Bremer and Zurufi may be available on the Web at http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2004/tr20040506-1428.html.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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