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
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
HEADLINES, Click to follow link
The Vice-President and two ministers failed to turn up for the swearing-in ceremony for cabinet members on 3 May, although their names were announced when the new government was formed, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. Sunni Vice-President Ghazi al-Yawar did not attend the ceremony. Neither did Azhar al-Shaykhali, minister of state for women affairs, and Sa'd al-Hardan, minister of state for governorates' affairs. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by President Jalal Talabani, Vice-President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi, National Assembly Speaker Hajim al-Hasani and members of the assembly. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari said on 3 May that differences among Sunnis, over who gets the defence portfolio, precluded the appointment of a minister for this post, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. During a news conference, Al-Ja'fari said: "As far as the Sunnis are concerned, I did my utmost, as I did with the Shi'is, to ensure that the appointment of each minister is satisfactory to all". The United Iraqi Alliance earlier rejected the three names that were nominated for the defence portfolio. The last to be nominated for this post was retired Maj- Gen Ahmad Rikan Abd-al-Aziz who was selected for this post on 2nd. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari has failed to appoint two more deputies to the prime minister and the ministers of defence, oil, human rights, electricity and industry, Al-Jazeera TV reported. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari said during the cabinet swearing-in ceremony on 3 May that Iraqis were ready to forgive sympathisers of the former regime who had not been involved in violent activities. He said: "I say to those who one day took the side of the old regime that the heart of our people is large and has room for you providing you have not spilled blood, violated sanctities, or participated politically in establishing that buried regime: Return to our people in repentance and apology to participate in the process of construction and development. Dialogue is what will achieve what the language of guns and the behaviour of treachery could not". (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
President Jalal Talabani on 3 May wished Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari success in the "enormous democratic" task he faces as head of Iraq 's transitional government. Talabani was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Iraqi government. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
Multinational forces air-dropped flyers to people in the Administrative Subdistrict of Hawijah on 3 May urging them to "immediately turn in terrorists to the police", Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan satellite TV reported. The flyers said that if they refused to comply, multinational forces and the Iraqi police will start a joint attack, similar to the one carried out on Al-Fallujah, to clean the Administrative Subdistrict of terrorists. The TV noted that the commander of the multinational forces in Kirkuk , Brig-Gen Gayhart, had sent an official letter to the governor of Kirkuk asking him not to provide support for Hawijah and not to carry out projects in the Administrative Subdistrict . This move followed the killing of three soldiers of the multinational forces by a sniper in Hawijah, the TV said. (KurdSat TV, Al-Sulaymaniyah, in Sorani Kurdish 3 May 05)
Sunni clerics criticize US siege on western cities
The Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) has denounced the practice by US and Iraqi forces of cordoning off certain cities as a collective punishment against their residents, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 3 May. In a statement, the association described this policy as a savage, brutal, and unethical practice. It cited the "tight siege" imposed for over a week on the cities of Al-Haqlaniyah, Al-Qa'im, and Hadithah in western Iraq . The AMS also criticized the international community's "silence over this punitive measure", which it said paralyses public life and prevents people from entering or exiting the city. "The closure of the cities has paralysed public services, cut off electricity and drinking water supply, closed marketplaces, and imposed a curfew even on the patients who seek treatment at hospitals," it said. The association also denounced raids on private houses, "stealing people's property, desecrating mosques and places of worship, and arresting journalists to terrorize them and discourage them from disclosing facts". (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
Finance Minister Ali Allawi said on 3 May that the new government will try to settle all of Iraq 's debts in 2005 in order to boost the economy and expedite reconstruction, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. Allawi noted the importance of fighting mismanagement and reforming the system of government subsidies, which he said costs billion of dollars. He said this will help the country get assistance from the IMF. The foreign debts owed by Iraq total about 120bn dollars, Al-Sharqiyah noted. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 3 May 05)
A nationwide vaccination campaign against measles was launched on 1 May, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) newspaper Al-Ta'akhi reported on 3rd. The 14-day campaign will cover children between the ages of one and five, and aims to vaccinate 3.7m children against measles. It is being conducted in conjunction with UNICEF. The director of the Health Education department, Intisar Ahmad Malik, said mobile medical teams would move from door to door to vaccinate the children. This is in addition to other medical teams available in the health centres in Baghdad and throughout the other governorates. (Al-Ta'akhi, Baghdad in Arabic 3 May 05)
A report in SCIRI-backed newspaper Al-Adalah on 1 May urged the Sunnis to choose those "who comply with the criteria of efficiency, honesty, and a clean record" and who can demonstrate "hard work, sincerity, and a desire to serve the public interests" as their representatives in the cabinet. (Al-Adalah, Baghdad , in Arabic 1 May 05)
Health official notes rise in Iraq cancer cases
Dr Ahmad Jasim Waliy, a cancer specialist and head of the Executive Bureau of the Cancer Council in the Iraqi Health Ministry, told Iraqi newspaper Al-Furat on 2 May that the number of cancer patients in Iraq has been on the increase in the past few years. According to the ministry, some 14,000 cases of malignant cancer were reported in the year 2002, compared to 11,000 in the year 2000, and less than 7,000 in 1988. It is estimated that up to one third of the cancer cases went undocumented due to administrative difficulties. (Al-Furat, Baghdad and Paris , in Arabic 2 May 05)
IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES, 3 May 05
[ Baghdad edition of London-based independent daily newspaper, Saudi-owned]:
- Four car bombings in Baghdad , dual bombing in Mosul claim 15 dead, 33 wounded (Agencies- Quoted)
- Incursions conducted in Kirkuk , Baghdad netting 112 suspects, including two Al-Qa'idah affiliates (AFP- Quoted)
- Rafsanjani seeking to regain presidency with blueprint to modify the 'jurisdiction of the jurisprudence', accommodate relations with US Rubay'ii says US may start pullout midway through next year(AFP- Quoted)
- Homeless Iraqis seeking shelter in cellars of Saddam's intelligence compound (AFP- Quoted)
- New Zealand expels ex-diplomat accredited by Saddam's government, turning down his application for permanent residency as an alleged retiree tourist (DPA- Quoted)
[ Baghdad , independent daily newspaper]:
- Assassinated: Baghdad sewerage authority DG, Al-Bu Rishah tribe chieftain in Ramadi
- Al-Ja'fari: Government must function like a beehive to combat crime, administrative corruption
- Iraqi- Australian wheat talks making headway (Agencies- Quoted)
- Israeli officials in charge of economy, tourism to visit Iraq (Agencies- Quoted)
- Zebari discusses bilateral relations with Turks (Agencies- Quoted)
- Gen Rashid Flayyih narrowly escapes assassination attempt, thirty injured in four car bombings in Baghdad (INA- Quoted)
- Former army personnel demonstrate in Al-Nasiriyah
[ Baghdad , independent daily newspaper published by Al-Mada Corporation for Media, Culture and Art]:
- Al-Ja'fari: Operation room set up to tackle security, economic and administrative corruption files, problem of vacant ministerial seats nearing solution
- Al-Chalabi: Budget deficit at 5b dollars while foreign security contractors getting 7b dollars in salaries!
- Al-Mustafa Forces have Baghdad-Kut highway firmly under control
- Two Ansar al-Sunnah operatives apprehended in Kirkuk
- AWB sees progress towards settlement with Iraq on contaminated wheat issue, Howard saying Australia not to yield to hard-liners (Agencies- Quoted)
- Muqtada al-Sadr has all his political bureaus disbanded Al-Nasiriyah power plant's third generating unit now operational
[ Baghdad , political daily newspaper published by the Iraqi National Accord Movement]:
- National Dialogue Council calls for programme to be set for government (Iraqiyun- Quoted)
- Impelled by crises in housing, services, call for regulating influx of Iranian pilgrims (Iraqiyun- Quoted)
- Saudi Arabia offers protection of Iraqi power grid French rejection of regime change in Syria (Agencies- Quoted)
- Iraqi Army to be trained by Australian military (AFP- Quoted)
- Erdogan's visit to Israel culminating in military deal (Agencies- Quoted)
[ Baghdad , general political daily newspaper published by the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party]:
- US, British ambassadors received in audience by PM Government stresses importance of activating justice, punishing terrorists (Agencies- Quoted)
- Several nominations put forward for defence minister's post (Agencies- Quoted)
- With her killer captured in Mada'in, Margaret Hassan's seized belongings identified by British embassy (Agencies- Quoted)
- 1,000 tons of US wheat to reach Iraq soon (Agencies- Quoted)
- More jobs being created for the unemployed in Baghdad , the provinces (Agencies- Quoted)
- Pensions to be reassessed in light of academic degree, tenure, marital status
[ Baghdad , comprehensive daily newspaper published by the Iraqi National Congress]:
- National Dialogue Council making a bid to persuade Al-Ja'fari to adopt its blueprint
- Australia will not negotiate with captors of its citizen in Iraq
- Kurdistan regional presidency crisis impinging on Baghdad , Barzani threatening to withdraw his ministers out of al-Ja'fari's cabinet, Talabani to visit Arbil (Elaph- Quoted)
- Allawi announces in Beirut that democracy shall prevail
- Interior Ministry intelligence personnel carry out raid on Bab-al-Mu'adhdham colleges' compound
- Twenty-seven suspects arrested in Mosul (KUNA- Quoted)
[ Baghdad edition of London-based independent daily newspaper]:
- Outer wall of Samarra' hospital pierced by unidentified missile as five car bombings in Baghdad, Tal-Afar leave toll of 80 dead, wounded victims (Reuters- Quoted)
- Sydney dispatches special task force to free Australian national held hostage in Iraq (AFP- Quoted)
- Eyewitnesses say travellers between Al-Fallujah and Ramadi are subjected to harassment, with US forces besieging Garma for third day running
- Kubbah: Nominations to fill vacant seats on al-Ja'fari's cabinet to be announced today
- Two Iraqi truckers caught smuggling arms to Jordan
- Ammunition, explosives cache discovered in Diyalah
- Housing project for the repatriated in Basra
IRAQI PRESS QUOTES & COMMENTS, 3 May 05
“A significant coincidence; Cairo bombings and Istanbul conference”- Al-Adalah
Al-Adalah [From editorial]:
"It may be a significant coincidence for the latest Cairo bombings to have occurred on the very day when the Iraq-bordering states, plus Egypt and Bahrain , were voicing their willingness, at the Istanbul conference, to cooperate with Iraq in controlling mutual borders and blocking the passage of terrorist infiltrators into Iraqi territory."
Al-Dustur [From editorial]:
"For those charged with the task of drawing up the new constitution, two things are paramount: First, to involve those who have been deprived of proper representation at the National Assembly through non-participation in the last elections; second, to be exceptionally cautious not to allow any sort of sectarian, religious or secessionist imprint to blur the national Iraqi character of the constitution It should also be pointed out that involving civil society organizations in the process of constitution-drafting is indispensable, if the promised constitution is to embrace the aspirations of a civilized society seeking to build a true democracy."
IRAQI BROADCAST MEDIA , 3 May 2005
- New cabinet sworn in
- National Assembly approves internal procedures ...
- Iraqis optimistic about future; Report highlights comments of Iraqis, people welcoming new cabinet, calling on it to serve interests of people, restore security
- Studio interview with Mohammed al-Abudi, official at Ministry of Oil; he speaks about Iraq being now part of democratic world
- TV correspondent notes highlights Al-Ja'fari speech; says there are still differences between governing coalition and Sunni Arabs over cabinet posts
- Thirteen terror suspects arrested in Baghdad
- Police officer assassinated in Ninawa; ten terror suspects held in Mosul , explosives detonated
- US soldier killed, another hurt on road to Baghdad airport
- US pilot body found
- Road between Baghdad and Wasit made safe by security forces
- Students protest to killing of student union leader, accuse Ba'thists at university of threatening slain student
- More mass graves found in Al-Diwaniyah
- Ministry of Human Rights mark international day for freedom of expression
- Arbil airport opened. Iraq oil exports down during April
- Iraqi president to take part in the Arab-Latin American summit in Brazil next week
- New Iraqi government to take oath of office today, Sunni Arabs to have six posts
- Clashes between US-Iraqi forces and armed group in Al-Ramadi after group attack US checkpoint in the area
- Bomb squad deactivates bomb placed in car near gas station in Baghdad ; video report shows footage from scene
- Conference on the writing of the new constitution held in Baghdad ; video report shows footage from the conference, participants talking about the importance of the new constitution
- Car bombs and blasts in Baghdad injure six people
- News bulletin interrupted with the station beginning a live broadcast of the new government taking the oath of office in Baghdad .
UPDATES FROM THE KURDISH PRSS, 3 May 2005
- Kirkuk is an Iraqi city not Turkish, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in an interview with a Turkish satellite TV station. Recalling the victory of the Kurdish-sponsored Fraternity List in the January elections in the city, Zebari said the Kirkukis themselves would decide their fate and the Kurds had a road map for the solution of the Kirkuk issue in accordance to the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL). On existence of PKK fighters in Iraq , Zebary said that he refused usage of his country as a launch pad for attacks against neighbors but recalled, “ Iraq was not in a position to declare war against that group.”
- An Iraq official delegation that comprised politicians and military officers visited the PKK HQ at the outskirts of Qandil Mountain and met with the group’s leaders for two hours. The meeting that took place on 29 April 2005 focused on security and border issues.
- A terrorist holding Syrian passport was captured in Tuzkhurmatu town, south to Kirkuk Monday evening. Driving a car planted with 20 Kgs of TNT explosives, in addition to mortar ammunition and 15 KGs of nails to intensify the effect of the explosives, the captured terrorist confessed during preliminary investigations that he was heading to Kirkuk to explode the car there according to a police officer who refused to disclose his identity.
- After discovering a mass grave that contained 1,500 corpses near Samawa in southern Iraq , 8 more mass graves were found near Diwaniya, also in the south. The newly found graves are believed to contain corpses of thousands of people, most of them Kurds killed in summary at the site by the former Iraqi regime between 1981 and 1997. The governor of Diwaniya complained that the Iraqi Government has not taken serious measures to compensate the families of the victims yet. More that 300 mass graves have been found in Iraq containing the corpses of about 300,000 persons since the fall of Saddam’s brutal regime two years ago. The investigators intend to use those mass graves as an evidence to indict Saddam and his top aides.
- Tens of Iranian Kurdish refugees in al-Karama Camp on Iraq-Jordan border have been on an open strike in front of the United Nations office at the camp since 1 May. The refugees complained that the United Nation’s Amman Office has neglected them and effused to respond to their demands. Ahmed Khusrawi, a refugee participant in the strike requested the UN to improve the refugees’ miserable conditions and transfer them to third countries as soon as possible. News reports advise that New Zealand has decided a while ago to take in 138 of the Eastern [Iranian] Kurdish refugees from al-Karama Camp while Sweden and Denmark agreed to host another 450 refugees. Only 55 refugees will remain at the Camp if the three countries fulfill their promises.
Khabat daily, issued in Erbil by the KDP
- KDP politburo issues a statement condemning the assassination of one of its Turcoman activists and explosion of a car bomb in his funeral that led to the death of 25 and injury of tens.
- KRG-Erbil Representative to France Seiwan Barzani divulges the imminent opening of the French Cultural Center in Erbil officially. After Beth Lahm and Bahrain , Erbil will be the third city in the Middle East to host such an important institution of France . The head of the French cultural center will be at level of an ambassador, Barzani added.
- An informative source from KRG-Erbil Ministry of Finance and Economy announced that the pension pay due for retired policemen and security officers would be the same rate as their last salaries. The new directive was for immediate implementation until adoption of a new pension code.
- Baghdad morns 13 dead and 21 wounded in 4 car bombs Monday.
- New crisis prevents Kirkuk Governorate Municipal Council (KGMC) from convening although the KDP and PUK had issued directives for their co-sponsored Fraternity List that won majority of KGMC seats after failing to make deals with the Arab and Turcoman Lists winning KGMC January elections for the formation of a new administration in the governorate.
- The Iraqi Institute for Peace (IIP) convened Monday a conference for discussion on setting up proper mechanisms for drafting a new constitution for the country. A number of parliament members and Arab Sunni and Shiite tribesmen, religious and social notables and politicians, as well as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative in Iraq Ashraf Qazi attended the conference. Annan’s Special Envoy Nicolas Heath was also present at the gathering. Heath reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting Iraq in the constitution drafting process adding that the Iraqis needed to participate actively in both processes of the constitution drafting and voting on it in a countrywide referendum.
- The Salahuddin University held in Erbil on Monday a scientific seminar on quality control in Kurdistan Region. KRG-Erbil Minister Falah Mustafa, the university president and professors, as well as a number of experts attended the seminar, during which several studies were presented.
- The PUK politburo convened in Sulaymanya Monday evening and discussed the latest political developments in Kurdistan and Iraq .
- PUK politburo executive chief Kosrat Rassoul Ali and his comrade received Monday a number of Kurdistan politicians, including several former Kurdish members of Turkey parliament and son of the first president of Kurdistan Republic [that was established in Mahabad city in the Iranian part of Kurdistan in 1946]. The PUK official briefed his guests on the latest developments in Kurdistan Region and the crisis over presidency. He reiterated his party’s commitment to nominating KDP leader Massoud Barzani for that position but recalled that the two parties had different views on the details of eth issue and the entitlements of the president.
- Teachers in Erbil plan for a demonstration in Erbil on May 3rd, the exact date for the start of end-of-year examinations. In a special statement to the newspaper, director of Erbil Education Department expressed his anxiety for the demonstration saying that it was not clear who were behind the proposed demonstration and what were their demands. “We have contacted many parties and none had any information about them, except for one statement that was publicized a while ago,” the director said. He further complained that in that statement, the would-be demonstrators had demands not related to them, like changing the curricula and fighting corruption.
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. + 962 777 619 731) firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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