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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



From the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

This document is provided as a service by UNAMI. The material is drawn from non-UN sources and does not reflect the opinions of the United Nations, nor can the UN vouch for its accuracy

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

 
HEADLINES, Click to follow link
  
IRAQI NEWS, 28 MARCH 05

·         Presidential spokesman denies Al-Yawar nominated for post of Iraqi Speaker
·         Al-Sistani urges review of Saturday weekly holiday
·         Two killed, 98 arrested in raids south of Baghdad
·         Al-Zarqawi group says destroyed Hummer in Al-Yusufiyah
·         Ansar Al-Sunnah Army says Hummer blown up in Al-Ramadi
·         TV reports on Basra waste disposal project
·         Two killed, 98 said arrested in Iraqi army raids south of Baghdad
·         Iraqi oil pipeline reported sabotaged west of Kirkuk
·         Basra telephone network upgraded
·         Al-Sistani approves "collective duty" to help security agencies
·         Iraq to adopt summer time on 1 April
IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES - 28 MAR 05
·         Al-Sharq al-Awsat
·         Al-Zaman
·         Al-Adalah
·         Baghdad
·         Al-Bayan
·         Al-Dustur
·         Al-Mada
·         Al-Mu'tamar
·         Al-Nahdah
IRAQI PRESS QUOTES AND COMMENTS - 28 MAR 05
·         ``People's representatives should rise to the people's aspirations tomorrow'' -Al-Adalah
·         "Can we now talk of any role for those elected to represent the people in the National Assembly?'' -Al-Mada
·         Press comment (28 Mar)
IRAQI MEDIA PROGRAMME SUMMARIES, 28 MARCH 2005
·         Al-Sharqiyah TV news 28 Mar 05
·         Al-Iraqiyah TV news 28 Mar 05
UPDATES FROM THE KURDISH PRESS 28 MAR. 05
·         www.peyamner.com
·         Hawal weekly newspaper issued in Kirkuk
·         Kurdistani Nwe daily issued in Sulaymanya by the PUK
·         Khabat daily issued in Erbil by the KDP
·         Jamawar, private weekly issued in Erbil

IRAQI NEWS, 28 March 05
Presidential spokesman denies Al-Yawar nominated for post of Iraqi Speaker

Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 28 March
An official presidential spokesman today denied that Iraqi President Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar was nominated for the post of Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly. Reacting to reports about the nomination of President Al-Yawar to this post, the spokesman told Al-Sharqiyah: This post was frequently offered to Shaykh Al-Yawar, but he refused to assume this post. He has not changed this stand.
Al-Sistani urges review of Saturday weekly holiday
Shi'i spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani on 28 March urged the authorities to reconsider their decision to make Saturday a weekly holiday, in addition to Friday. In a statement posted on the cleric's web site, Al-Sistani, said the move should have been more carefully studied and discussed in advance, adding that he hoped the new National Assembly would review the decision. (Qom Ayatollah Al-Sistani's Office web site 28 Mar)
Two killed, 98 arrested in raids south of Baghdad
Two people were killed and 98 others were arrested during raids against assembly centres used by gunmen south of Baghdad, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported quoting an army official. The source said that an armed confrontation broke out when Iraqi forces raided hideouts in Al-Mada'in. One of those killed was a Tunisian citizen, the TV said. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad, in Arabic 28 Mar 05)
Al-Zarqawi group says destroyed Hummer in Al-Yusufiyah
The group led by Jordanian-born militant Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi posted a statement, on the internet on 28 March, claiming responsibility for the destruction of a US Hummer and an attack on US headquarters in Al-Yusufiyah. The statement, posted by "Al-Khattab al-Iraqi" on the Al-Ikhlas forum, said the Al-Qasim Brigade had destroyed the Hummer with an explosive device, and shelled the US headquarters in the town's Al-Luhum Centre. No date for the incidents was given. (Al-Ikhlas forum 28 Mar)
Ansar Al-Sunnah Army says Hummer blown up in Al-Ramadi
An internet statement issued in the name of the Ansar al-Sunnah Army on 28 March claimed responsibility for an attack on a Hummer in Al-Ramadi. The statement, posted by a "Khalid al-Harbi" on the Al-Ikhlas forum, said the vehicle had been attacked with an explosive device near the provincial government offices in the city. It added that the group had been unable to determine the extent of the damage caused. (Al-Islah forum 28 March)
TV reports on Basra waste disposal project
Municipal authorities in Basra, with the help of British troops, have started a project to remove waste and war debris, Al-Iraqiyah TV reported on 28 March. The project has provided many jobs, the TV noted. Hasan Sa'd, a rubbish collector, told the TV: "We move rubbish from inside the city to areas controlled by the British." The TV reported concluded: "Co-operation between Basra and the British troops improves hygienic standards and makes Iraqi cities cleaner more beautiful." (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 28 March 05)
Two killed, 98 said arrested in Iraqi army raids south of Baghdad

Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 28 March
An Iraqi Army source today said that two people had been killed and 98 others arrested, including some Arab nationals, during raids against assembly centres used by gunmen south of Baghdad.
He added that an Iraqi Army force raided hideouts for gunmen in Al-Mada'in [25 km southeast of Baghdad], noting that an armed confrontation occurred during the raid. Two were killed, including a Tunisian citizen, and three army elements, including two officers, were wounded as a result.
Iraqi oil pipeline reported sabotaged west of Kirkuk
Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 28 March
A source at the Iraqi North Oil Company has said that an oil pipeline in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq has been sabotaged. As a result, a fire broke out in the pipeline.
Engineer Abdallah Ahmad Ali, from the Fire Squad of the North Oil Company, said: We were informed of an explosion that occurred in a pipeline for transporting crude oil from the Kirkuk oil fields, 255 kilometres north of Baghdad, to the Bayji refinery, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad. The source added that the blast resulted from an explosive charge that was placed under a pipeline for transporting crude oil, around 65 kilometres west of Kirkuk in an area known as the village of Al-Safra. The source noted that the pipeline which came under sabotage was repaired on Friday.

Basra telephone network upgraded
An operation is in progress to lay cables providing an extra 1,200 telephone lines in the southern city of Basra, Iraqi Al-Iraqiyah TV reported on 27 March. A local official said that there was a backlog of telephone line applications dating back to 2001 and that work had stopped since. "But with this present project all areas will be provided with telephone services," he said. He also said that the cables were French-made but "the installation... has been implemented totally by Iraqis". Another project is planned, to provide 1,500 lines, he added. (Al-Iraqiyah TV 27 Mar 05)

Al-Sistani approves "collective duty" to help security agencies
Shi'i religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has said it is right to cooperate with security agencies against insurgents, in a message posted on the web site of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and observed on 28 March. The posting took the form of a question and answer. The question observed that "each day reveals the scale of the sabotage role played by individuals and groups of henchmen of the ousted regime and foreigners in disrupting security", and asked Al-Sistani for a fatwa indicating whether he "views cooperation with agencies tasked with safeguarding security and stability as a religious duty which all Iraqis must undertake". Al-Sistani's reply, dated 18 March, said: "Yes, it should be done as a collective duty, taking into consideration religious principles."(Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq web site 28 Mar 05)
Iraq to adopt summer time on 1 April
Iraq is to switch to summer time on 1 April, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 28 March. It said the switch would take place at 2400 local time (2100 gmt) on 31 March, when clocks would move forward by one hour. The report noted that Iraq would revert to winter time on 1 October. It said the seasonal time changes would remain on 1 April and 1 October in future years. (Al-Sharqiyah 28 Mar 05)

IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES - 28 MAR 05

Al-Sharq al-Awsat
Al-Sharq al-Awsat [Baghdad edition of London-based daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Saudi-owned]
·         Allawi sets 10 conditions for joining new government ...
·         Gunmen detain two youths in attempt to use them to bomb Karbala-bound procession; three-day holiday announced for fear of attacks during religious anniversary ...
·         Three SCIRI members killed near Ba'qubah; US Predator plane crashes ...
·         Investigation committee report over oil-for-food violations expected tomorrow; Annan reportedly depressed on eve of report release ...
·         Jordanian investigation committee: suicide bomber Al-Banna left Amman for Syria 48 hours before Al-Hillah bombing ...
·         Kurdish official: Our deal with Shi'i provides for keeping peshmerga force to defend Kurdistan ...
·         Engineering College students at Basra University end strike after demands met ... Navy crew at Basra oil port threatens strike ...
·         International company files complaint, demands compensation from Iraqi government ...
·         Iraqi Islamic Party organizes blood donation campaign ...
·         Iraq reconsiders aid offered by humanitarian organizations ...
·         UN envoy to Iraq visits Al-Sistani at his home in Al-Najaf; Qazi: No UN role in forming Iraqi government; UN determined to help Iraqis ...
·         Planning Minister Mahdi al-Hafid: Election winners bear responsibility for delay in forming new government ...
·         Tension in Kirkuk; Kurds impose Kurdish language on local council; Arabs, Turkomans boycott meeting
Al-Zaman
Al-Zaman [daily, independent, Baghdad edition of London-based Al-Zaman]
·         Political forces: Priority to issue of prisoners in occupation jails; US investigation committee discloses torture, abuses of Iraqi prisoners ...
·         Iraqi Christians mark Easter amid solidarity calls ...
·         Demonstrations in Al-Saqlawiyah in Al-Anbar Province to demand release of woman with her son ...
·         United Iraqi Alliance, Kurdistan Alliance engaged in marathon talks ahead of Tuesday session; Communist Party: No justification for delay in forming government ...
·         Fifty unidentified bodies buried in Al-Suwayrah ...
·         Wasit police: Sadrist detainees released ...
·         Education minister: National commission to review curricula ...
·         Bodies of man, woman found in Baghdad ...
·         Water Resources Ministry: 40 per cent of energy provided by northern Iraqi dams
Al-Adalah
Al-Adalah [Baghdad, twice-weekly newspaper in Arabic published by the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)]
·         SCIRI leader Al-Hakim stresses Iraqis' ability to complete constitutional process successfully on time ...
·         UN Iraq envoy visits Al-Sistani ...
·         Turkey expects better relations with incoming Iraqi government ...
·         Interim National Assembly President Dari al-Fayyad calls on parliament to convene at 1100 Tuesday ...
·         Iraqi forces kill seven insurgents south of Baghdad ...
·         Iraqi businessmen, industrialists boycott Iraq reconstruction conference in Amman in solidarity with Al-Hillah victims ...
·         Insurgents try to use two young men to bomb pilgrims' convoy heading for Karbala ...
·         Fire opened on peaceful demonstration in front of Science and Technology Ministry ...
·         Justice minister: Two political, judicial bodies to write constitution ...
·         Failed attempt to assassinate Kurdish official near Kirkuk ...
·         Justice Ministry: 133 released from Abu-Ghurayb, Umm-Qasr jails ...
·         Detainee's confessions leads US forces to four weapons caches ...
·         Police officers receive special training in responding to disasters ...
·         Saturday holiday gradually eroding at Health Ministry ...
·         Husayn al-Tahhan assumes duties as Baghdad governor
Baghdad
Baghdad [Baghdad, daily newspaper in Arabic published by the Iraqi National Accord Movement]
·         National Accord Movement calls for broad national front ...
·         PM meets US Congress delegation ...
·         Allawi greets Christians on Easter Day ...
·         Planning minister: Donor countries should honour their pledges ...
·         Iraqi List holds news conference, says Al-Sadr stresses need to form new government as soon as possible ...
·         Trade contracts to import 300,000 tonnes of US wheat ...
·         Free Democratic Nation Party merges with National Accord Movement ...
·         Iraq one of most heavily mined countries ...
·         Dozens of Iraqis killed in criminal incidents in Baghdad
Al-Bayan
Al-Bayan [Baghdad, daily newspaper in Arabic published by the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party]
·         United Iraqi Alliance underlines need to elect National Assembly president on Tuesday, recommends reaching deal with Kurdistan Alliance, other political parties over government makeup ...
·         Under tight security measures, mass processions head for Karbala on religious occasion marking end of 40-day mourning period commemorating death of Imam al-Husayn ...
·         Ashraf Qazi conveys Annan's greetings to Al-Sistani ...
·         Ibrahim al-Ja'fari receives Iraqi professors at Ohio University ...
·         Smuggling, sabotage cost Iraqi oil installations 9bn dollars ...
·         Baghdad municipality protests against US forces' measures ...
·         Environment Ministry: 311 sites in Iraq identified as contaminated with uranium ... Baghdad metro project to be implemented next year ...
·         Iraq takes part in Cairo conference of Arab health ministers ...
·         Veterinary services offered to southern marshes
Al-Dustur
Al-Dustur [Baghdad, daily independent newspaper in Arabic]
·         National Assembly session to be held tomorrow; election of presidential body expected ... Kurds refuse to compromise peshmerga's defence of Kurdistan ...
·         Sadrist Movement criticizes position of President Al-Yawar, Foreign Minister Zebari during Arab summit ...
·         Iraqi security forces kill seven gunmen, arrest others ...
·         Drone crashes; senior Interior Ministry official killed after being kidnapped; Kurdish official escapes assassination attempt; mortar attack on Sunni endowment in Mosul ...
·         US army documents reveal Iraqi prisoners' torture in Mosul ...
·         Baghdad council chief: Committee formed to set up mechanism for local, municipal elections ...
·         International Labour Organization offers 400m dinars to support social rehabilitation project in Iraq ...
·         Two arrested for trying to kidnap Iraqis working with US company ...
·         Natural reserve set up in Salah-al-Din
Al-Mada
Al-Mada [Baghdad, daily, independent newspaper published by Al-Mada Media, Culture and Arts Corporation
·         Sharif Ali Bin-al-Husayn negotiates with rebel representatives: Ready to lay down arms in exchange for safety guarantees ...
·         United Iraqi Alliance: National Assembly session to name parliament president, two deputies ...
·         Ashraf Qazi in Al-Najaf; Al-Sistani edict prohibits corruption, squandering public funds ...
·         Secret hideouts used as hospital for gunmen found under Al-Salam Hospital in Mosul ... Bayji power station ready to provide 270 megawatts of electricity ...
·         Spontaneous demonstration in Al-Samawah demanding execution of goldsmith's killer ... US plane crashes near Balad ...
·         Maysan police capture 30 Arabs, foreign terror suspects ...
·         Kuwaiti energy minister: Cooperation with Iraq based on confidence, understanding, mutual respect ...
·         Emergency plan prepared by Karbala security, health departments for religious occasion ...
·         Al-Hillah warns holy shrine visitors against meals offered by strangers ...
·         Forty-two mass graves in Karbala; others yet to be discovered]
Al-Mu'tamar
Al-Mu'tamar [Baghdad, daily newspaper in Arabic published by the Iraqi National Congress]
·         Fawwaz al-Jarbah first president of Iraqi National Assembly; three candidates for vice-presidency; Al-Da'wah Party nominates Al-Yawar; SCIRI names Sharif Ali; other forces stick to Mudar Shawkat ...
·         Efforts to establish Iraqi political council including Shi'i, Sunnis at National Assembly ... Tight security measures ahead of religious celebrations ...
·         US Congress move to consider Ba'th Party terrorist organization ...
·         World Bank to grant 480m dollars to Iraqi ministries ...
·         Kurdish official: Peshmergas to remain protection force for Kurdistan ... Industry sector moving towards privatization in Kurdistan ...
·         Baghdad council steps up efforts to improve health, environment situation ...
·         Iraqi Central Bank adopts new economic policy ...
·         Joint ministerial committee to reconstruct Karbala, Al-Najaf
Al-Nahdah
Al-Nahdah [Baghdad, daily political newspaper]
·         Talabani: Delay in government formation due to Allawi bloc's involvement in talks; Tuesday meeting to complement National Assembly's opening session ...
·         Riyadh denies Saudi infiltration into Iraq ...
·         Casualties reported in clashes in Tall Afar ...
·         Netherlands not to renew Iraqis' residence permits ...
·         Security cordon in place around Karbala; preparations completed to receive pilgrims ...
·         Suspects arrested in Samarra, Bayji, Baghdad ...
·         Looting gang caught in Al-Allawi district of Baghdad; hostage freed in Bab al-Mu'addam
·         Baghdad University signs memo of understanding with Iranian university
IRAQI PRESS QUOTES and COMMENTS - 28 MAR 05
``People's representatives should rise to the people's aspirations tomorrow'' -Al-Adalah

Al-Adalah [Baghdad, twice-weekly newspaper in Arabic published by the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)]
"All eyes in Iraq and the world will be on the Iraqi people's representatives tomorrow, Tuesday, in the hope that they will select a National Assembly president and his two deputies. And if a final agreement is reached between the United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurdistan Alliance, we may even witness the announcement of the first legitimate, elected government in Iraq's modern history... The people's representatives should rise to the people's aspirations. All are betting on the Iraqi people, and the people, in turn, are betting on their representatives. Therefore, there should be some interaction at both the official and popular levels to make the political process and consequently the democratic experience a success."
"Can we now talk of any role for those elected to represent the people in the National Assembly?'' -Al-Mada
"Can we now talk of any role for those elected to represent the people in the National Assembly? Do not the marathon closed-door negotiations turn those representatives into mere figures intended to rubber-stamp what the big gentlemen decide?... We may interpret the keenness of some political leaders to respect the confidentiality of these negotiations as an attempt to secure a cordial and quiet climate for dialogue that may otherwise lead to tension and rigid positions. However, the differences in the negotiations cannot stop people wondering why these differences are emerging now, in these transitional circumstances, and what the political forces did over the past two years or at their conferences before the fall of the [Saddam] regime... Two months have passed since the elections were held - two months out of the short period defined for writing and discussing the constitution, holding a referendum and then preparing for and holding the coming elections... These two months of prolonged Iraqi patience... will not be forgotten by the electorate when they cast their votes at the next election."
Press comment (28 Mar)
Al-Manar al-Yawm
publishes an article by Chief Editor Taha Arif justifying why the newspaper, which used to support the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization, recently published a number of articles criticizing the organization. The writer denies that the newspaper was paid by the Iranian Embassy.
Al-Bayan publishes a column by Adil al-Rubay'i urging people to stage protests against the wide spread corruption in Iraq.
Tariq al-Sha'b publishes an article by Karim Ahmad strongly criticizing the political forces that oppose the implementation of a federation or propose an administrative federal system in Iraq. The writer believes that "the ethnic federal system" is the only way to restore stability in Iraq and proposes boundaries for the Kurdistan region.
Al-Furat publishes a commentary saying that the recent statements issued by US President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair regarding withdrawing their forces as soon as the building of the newly formed Iraqi Army is complete should not be ignored.
Al-Furat publishes article by Salah Umar al-Ali, an Iraqi writer and politician, entitled "No Democracy and Security With the Occupation." The writer says that "nothing is better than a superpower as great and strong as the US adopting the call for reforms in the Arab countries." However the US Administration's current provocative conduct and policies in the region are leading to the contrary, adding that instead of introducing democracy, President Bush created chaos and destruction over the past two years of occupation in Iraq, explains the article.
Al-Mashriq publishes a commentary criticising the fragile condition of the Iraqi Army to the extent that it "seeks experience and help from some militias to train its soldiers." The writer also criticized the Higher Education Ministry for paying low salaries to university professors in comparison to the salaries paid to Iraqi Army officers.
Al-Mashriq publishes an article in which the writer wonders if this is the democracy that the Arab elites want to have, praising the US pressure on the Arab regimes to enforce democracy in many countries of the region, such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Al-Mashriq publishes an article criticizing the security and armed forces for not providing sufficient security for the trucks that deliver ration card items. The writer also criticizes the Trade Ministry for not using cargo planes to deliver ration card items.
Al-Mada publishes an article urging those who have information about terrorists to inform police and provide all required information because Iraq will "prevail" in the end.
Al-Dustur publishes a commentary criticizing the government for not providing security measures to protect the Iraqi judges.
Al-Adalah carries an article commenting on the "public reaction to terrorist acts." The writer says that the public cooperation with the Iraqi security forces is the "best way to eliminate terrorism."
Al-Sabah al-Jadid publishes an article criticizing the Iraqi judicial authorities for "releasing a number of criminals without any punishment."
Al-Zaman runs an article commenting on the Iraqi Government's decision to make Saturday a holiday. The writer says that it is better for Muslim societies to "adopt the principle of convenience instead of cultural clash with other religions."
Al-Zaman publishes an article by Sa'd Abbas criticizing the Iraqi liberals for "participating in ethnic and sectarian partnership." The author says that this principle provides opportunity for some groups to flourish, which will "abort any future attempts to create a constitutional state."
Al-Zaman carries an article by Layth al-Sunduq criticizing those Iraqi politicians who "show courtesy to the criminals who kill the Iraqi people and flatter the countries from which those criminals came."
Al-Zaman runs an article commenting on "wasting" the Iraqi oil resources and "depriving the future generations from the source of a decent life."
Al-Zaman publishes an article criticizing the Iraq reconstruction projects, saying that these projects provided opportunity for "pilfering contractors to steal three quarters of the money dedicated to reconstruct the country."
Al-Zaman runs an article criticizing the deba'thification procedures, saying that "most of the former Ba'thists were forced to join the Ba'th Party, and it is unfair to dismiss them from their jobs and prevent them and their families from the source of their living."
Al-Nahdah carries an article by Sa'd bin Tiflah al-A'jmi commenting on Kirkuk, which consists of all the Iraqi components. The writer urges the Iraqi leaders to live peacefully in this area.

IRAQI MEDIA PROGRAMME SUMMARIES, 28 March 2005
Al-Sharqiyah TV news 28 Mar 05
·         Republic Presidency official source denies nomination of Al-Yawar for presidency of the National Assembly; National Assembly holds meeting on 29th to elect leader and two deputies; strict security measures taken ahead of Assembly meeting ...
·         Iraqi planing minister criticizes National Assembly members for delay in forming important state institutions in Iraq ...
·         National Assembly members demand holding meeting immediately, call to keep Assembly meetings open and keep public informed ...
·         Summer time to begin Friday 01 April in Iraq ...
·         Al-Anbar University guards manage to deal with suspect car parked at the campus
·         Suicide bomber kills seven, injures nine others in between Al-Hillah and Karbala ... Iran claims Iraqi border forces stop Iranian citizens entering Iraq to visit religious sites through Mehran border crossing ...
·         US military vehicle rams Iraqi civilian's car, killing him east of Samarra ...
·         US forces headquarters in Hit comes under insurgent missile fire form ...
·         Two killed, 98 arrested, including foreign nationals south of Baghdad as Iraqi forces attack insurgents' hideouts ...
·         Iraqis veterans to form association to look after their problems
Al-Iraqiyah TV news 28 Mar 05
·         Transitional National Assembly meeting on 29 March to name speaker and his deputies ...
·         Iraqis hope new government to improve security, oppose sectarianism ...
·         Wave of attacks sweeps Iraq ...
·         Ninety-eight terror suspects arrested in Salman Baq, weapon cache found; terror suspects held in Basra ...
·         Minister of the Interior Falah al-Naqib says foreign powers back terrorists ...
·         Security measures taken in Al-Najaf greeted by Iraqis ...
·         New recruits of police special force complete training in Mosul ...
·         Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi congratulates Christians for Easter ...
·         Academics hold reconstruction forum ...
·         Unemployment institute set up in Dhiqar ...
·         Forty women study Shi'i theology in Dhiqar ...
·         New lamp posts put up in streets near Najaf holy shrine ...
·         Eighty-four terror suspects arrested by Iraq National Guard in Wasit ...
·         Basra backed by multinational force implements rubbish disposal project

Updates from the Kurdish Press 28 Mar. 05
www.peyamner.com <http://www.peyamner.com>
¾        

The PUK leader Jalal Talabani and Iraqi incumbent PM Ayad Allawi arrived in the PUK leader Massoud Barzani's HQ in Salahuddin town north to Erbil this morning to participate in the condolence ceremonies for the death of Barzani's cousin Sheikh Muhammed Khalid, who diseased days ago at the age of 82. At the footage of the condolence ceremony, Allawi and Barzani had a closed meeting that was going on until the preparation of this report.

¾        

The elected municipal council for Kirkuk governorate is expected to convene Tuesday and elect a Governor, his deputy and assistance although the negotiations for position distributions are not over yet.

Hawal weekly newspaper issued in Kirkuk
¾        

Wasfi Al-Assi, the leader of Arab Gathering in Kirkuk refuted news reports that quoted his as demanding the establishment of a special militia to protect Arab settlers from the Iraqi National Guards and police. Regretting the arrest of 76 Arabs from Uruba Quarter [of Arab settlers] without disclosing their whereabouts, Al-Assi explained that he called for the establishment of a ``legal special force, even unarmed'' to be stationed an the Arab quarters.

¾        


Sungul Chapuk, a Turcoman female politician and former member of the dissolved Governing Council decided today to run for Iraqi Vice-Presidency. She said in gathering of Iraqi women today that the Turcomans constituted 13% of the Iraqi population and thus were entitled to two ministry portfolios and a sovereign position in the Iraqi cabinet.
¾         Cartoon from Hawal weekly with no comments:

Kurdistani Nwe daily issued in Sulaymanya by the PUK
¾        

Talabani met with a number of officers from Dyala Border Guards on Monday and thanked them for their dedications.

¾        

The Iraqi Government decided to establish a commission to take care of the families of the victims who suffered under the former regime. The incumbent PM Allawi met on Monday with scores of social, religious and patriotic figures and discussed with them issues pertaining to the commission establishment. He also directed the concerned government departments to take necessary legal, administrative and financial measures to complete the establishment soon.
¾         The 41 members of the new Sulaymanya Municipal Council will convene on Tuesday for the second time and elect a Governor. Dana Saed Majeed, PUK candidate for the position said candidacy was open for all members. He further said a proposal would be forwarded to the [KRG-Sulaymanya] Council of Ministers to re-atatch Darbandikhan district to Sulaymanya Governorate.
¾         The KRG-Sulaymanya will soon construct an exemplary hospital in Kirkuk with $1 million, PUK politburo member Jalal Jawher announced on Monday. The announcement came during Jawher's inauguration of the renovated surgery hall at Shorish Hospital in the city. KRG-Sulaymanya renovated the hall and provided all the necessary equipment.
¾         The police in Kirkuk captured two members of Jihad and Tawheed terrorist group in Uruba quarter downtown the city. Also in Kirkuk, the new Iraqi army captured two Arab terrorists on Kirkuk-Baghdad highway, who have set bombs for the convoy on Vice-President Shawais on 26 March, in addition to their involvement in abduction of people and other terror operations.
¾         A judge in [Halabja] court detained the daily's correspondent in Halabja on defamation charges and Kurdistan Journalists' Union expressed dismay at the arrest order describing it as ``unjustifiable''. The correspondent had reported on a real incident in the city when a teacher wounded a student. The assaulting teacher has filed a case against the journalist accusing him of disgrace. The Union vice-president adds that the court could have summoned the journalist without detaining him. The detained correspondent Ibrahim Palani says the teacher was detained for ten days before being released as he settled the dispute with the student's family. Other papers also reported the same story according to Palani.

Khabat daily issued in Erbil by the KDP
¾        

The funeral of Sheikh Muhammed Khalid Barzani, the KDP leader's cousin and chief of the Barzan tribe continues and the party leader Massoud Barzani was present there for the second successive day.

¾        

The students at the Medical College of Salahuddin University staged a peaceful demonstration in front of Kurdistan Parliament House Sunday morning demanding the shut down of Ayinda University in Sulaymanya and launching an investigation into the incident in Bani Maqan checkpoint [between Kirkuk and Chamchamal]. Two MPs received representatives of the demonstrators and promised to study their demands adding that the law must take its course regarding the projects of Ayinda private university. A number of Salahuddin University students were traveling via Kirkuk to Sulaymanya about two weeks ago to support their colleagues who demanded the shut down of Ayinda private university but the checkpoint elements fired in the air to deer them.
¾         The two-day conference on gender equality that a local NGO advocating for women organized in Erbil in cooperation with the [US-based] IRI organization and other NGOs ended its activities on Sunday. The conference discussed addressing a memo to the Iraqi parliament in order to change the laws tat stipulate differences between men and women, in addition to separation of religion from the state.
¾         The Transparency Commission that the Iraqi government established to eradicate corruption in government institutions prepared a from to be distributed to ministers and other senior civil servants asking them to detail their fortunes as a means to track their financial dealings and determine if they were legal or not.

Jamawar, private weekly issued in Erbil
¾        

In the new Iraqi government, Talabani is the President and the Kurds will get 8 ministries, including those of Foreign Affairs and Oil.

¾        

Turkey sends weapons and ammunitions to Kirkuk secretly under disguise of construction and relief material, an informed source disclosed to the weekly. Turkish intelligence agents deliver the weapons to suspected groups in Haweja and Tuzkhurmatu districts, as well as to the sons of Shekh Mizhir Al-Assi and other Arab settlers in Kirkuk and Hamreen areas through Riyaz Sari Kahya {Turcoman party leader] and Arshad Hurmizli.

¾         Mosul Assitant Governor Ibrahim Muhammed Salih, a Turcoman, visited Turkey and met with MIT [intelligence] officers recently. The Iraqi Turcoman Front (ITF) representative in Mosul coordinated the visit of Muhammed Tahir, who pretended he was visiting Turkey for medical reasons. The secret meeting with Turkish officers aimed at curtaining the Kurdish role in Mosul and facilitating for Turkey to play a greater role in Mosul affairs through ITF.

¾        

A number of Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party (KSDP) leadership committee members submitted their resignations last week. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a KSDP leadership member said that Nawzad Rozhbayani, Ali Bichkol, Imad Abdulla and Sabir Lata, who were members of the leadership committee, resigned from the party and joined the PUK. The anonymous KSDP speaker further accused the PUK of playing a role in the KSDP internal disputes.
¾         Kurdistan National Trend (KNT) issued a statement refuting ``allegations'' that the group had dissolved itself and joined the PUK. ``A number of KNT members headed by politburo member Dr. Sardar and his group made a secret deal to join the PUK and, contrary to all norms and ethics, later handed over most of the KNT offices to the PUK,'' the statement says adding that the KNT vows to continue its discourse. The PUK TV and other media outlets reported on 16 March that the KNT had dissolved itself and joined the PUK.


***
NB: This is not an official document. The information contained therein was compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Information Office. If you have any questions/suggestions, please contact us at (+ 962 550 -4631/4632 or Cell. + 962 77 619 731 jarrar@un.org <mailto:jarrar@un.org> or alsokhni@un.org <mailto:alsokhni@un.org>





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