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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, May 17, 2005

HEADLINES, Click to follow link

IRAQI NEWS, 16 May 05

Two students killed, 11 wounded in Baghdad rocket attack

Two Iraqis working for "foreign security company" killed

Troops forbidden to storm mosques, universities

National Guards renamed Iraqi Army

Al-Sistani stresses to PM importance of Sunni participation

Al-Sadr accuses occupation of driving wedge between Shi'is, Sunnis

Iraqi security forces arrest leading Mosul bomber

Two Iraqi journalists said killed south of Baghdad

Rice says "mistake to ignore" Sunni council - Iraqi TV

Sunni cleric commends Rice remarks on Sunni involvement

Sistani calls on national unity and dialogue

IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES, 16 May 05

Al-Adalah

Baghdad

Al-Mu'tamar

Al-Zaman

IRAQI PRESS QOUTES, 16 May 05

“Terrorism has exceeded all moral limits”- Al-Bayan

“Iraqi political and civil organizations Strange silence towards evil of terrorism”- Al-Sharq al-Awsat

IRAQI BROADCAST MEDIA HEADLINES, 16 May 05

Programme summary of Al-Iraqiyah TV news 16 May 05

Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV news summary 16 May 05

TV shows confessions of Palestinians charged with Baghdad attack

Iraq's Dubai-based Al-Fayha TV to shut down after UAE refuses licence

UPDATES FROM THE KURDISH PERSS, 16 May 2005

Xebat, daily newspaper issued in Erbil by the KDP

Aso, weekly newspaper issued in Kirkuk by Xandan Publishing House

Hewler Globe, weekly magazine printed in Erbil

 

IRAQI NEWS, 16 May 05

Two students killed, 11 wounded in Baghdad rocket attack

Two engineering students were killed and 11 others were wounded after a rocket fell on the building of the Faculty of Engineering in Al-Bab al-Mu'azzam in the centre of Baghdad , Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 16 May. The Faculty of Engineering is located in an area which encompasses the Faculties of Arts, Education, and Administration. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Two Iraqis working for "foreign security company" killed

An Interior Ministry source has said that two Iraqis working for a foreign security company were killed on 16 May and two others, in addition to a foreigner, were wounded in an explosion targeting the company's motorcade in Baghdad , Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. The source said that the explosion completely damaged one of the vehicles. No further details were given of the wounded foreigner. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Troops forbidden to storm mosques, universities

Defence Minister Sa'dun Al-Dulaymi troops announced on 16 May that troops were no longer permitted to storm places of worship and universities, and would be punished if they did so, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. "We have issued a ministerial decree to all units. This decree stipulates that the personnel of the Ministry of Defence shall be prohibited from storming mosques, husayniyat, churches, and all other places of worship in Iraq and harming citizens and worshippers," the minister said. He added that Ministry of Defence personnel have also been forbidden to enter Iraqi universities, "because universities are as sacrosanct as mosques ...Both have special status." (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

National Guards renamed Iraqi Army

Defence Minister Sa'dun Al-Dulaymi announced on 16 May that the Iraqi National Guard has been renamed the Iraqi Army, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. He told reporters: "I would like to announce that from now on there is no National Guard. There is only an army, called the Army of Iraq. This army represents all Iraqis and shoulders national responsibility for achieving the security of all Iraqis, regardless of their background and regardless of whether they are rich or poor or in power or out of power." (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Al-Sistani stresses to PM importance of Sunni participation

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari announced, after meeting religious authority Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Ali al-Sistani on 16 May, that the ayatollah had stressed the importance of brotherhood and unity among Shi'i and Sunni Muslims, Lebanese Hezbollah TV Al-Manar reported. Al-Ja'fari told journalists that Al-Sistani also stressed the need for Sunni participation in drafting the constitution. (Al-Manar Television, Beirut , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Al-Sadr accuses occupation of driving wedge between Shi'is, Sunnis

Muqtadr Al-Sadr has accused occupation forces of driving a wedge through different groups in Iraq to stir up sectarian strife, Lebanese Hezbollah TV Al-Manar reported on 16 May. "Sunnis do not attack Shi'is and Shi'is do not attack Sunnis. This has never happened, neither now nor in the past. We have been living together for so many years, so what has happened recently? Only one thing happened recently, which is the presence of the occupation troops," he said. He said he was ready to cooperate with Sunnis "at any level ... and at anytime". (Al-Manar Television, Beirut , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Iraqi security forces arrest leading Mosul bomber

A statement issued by the Iraqi Government today said that the Iraqi security forces recently arrested the most important person specialized in preparing car-bombs in Mosul . It said that the Iraqi security forces launched an attack on Friday in which they arrested Salim Yusuf Husayn, alias Abu-Dawud, who was in charge of obtaining and booby trapping cars. It added that he is the main person in charge of preparing car-bombs used in suicide attacks in Mosul .

Mosul has been the scene of attacks mounted by gunmen, particularly by car-bomb and roadside bombs. Source: Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05

Two Iraqi journalists said killed south of Baghdad

Two Iraqi journalists working for a Kuwaiti television station and their driver have been found killed south of Baghdad , Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 16 May. An Iraqi police captain, Husayn Imari, said the two journalists were intercepted by gunmen while they were on their way to Karbala on 15th. He said He said a gang of some ten armed men travelling in two cars stopped the journalists and killed them before escaping into a nearby orchard. Imari named the journalists as Ali Jasim al-Rumi and Naji Abd Khudayir. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 0512 gmt 16 May 05)

Three Iraqis working for Kuwaiti TV were killed in an ambush in Al-Latifiyah, south of Baghdad , Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. This came hours after a demonstration in Karbala in protest at offending prominent Shi'i cleric Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in a concert on Kuwait TV. Video shows bodies at morgue, their IDs. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Rice says "mistake to ignore" Sunni council - Iraqi TV

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during her visit to Iraq on 15 May that a Sunni coalition group, the Iraqi National Dialogue Council, is an important political force whose role must not be ignored, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 16 May. According to the TV, the council comprises 30 political organizations and was a party to the political negotiations on the formation of the Iraqi government. Its headquarters were stormed four times in a single week and several of its members, including Shaykh Hasan Zaydan and Shaykh Abd-al-Nasir al-Janabi, were arrested. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Sunni cleric commends Rice remarks on Sunni involvement

Adnan Muhammad Salman al-Dulaymi, head of the Sunni Waqf Office of religious endowments, on 16 May welcomed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's calls for greater Sunni involvement in the drafting of a new constitution, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. According to the TV, al-Dulaymi said the office would soon submit a list of Sunni candidates for participation in the drafting a new constitution. He said the initiatives was two years overdue but "nonetheless a good thing". (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 16 May 05)

Sistani calls on national unity and dialogue

Iraq 's senior Shi'i cleric Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Al-Sistani has called for national unity and dialogue with the country's Sunni community, a message on the ayatollah's web site said on 16 May. The message called for "unity, solidarity, and engaging in joint efforts without any sort of sensitivity by any side, because Sunnis are not only our brothers, but also ourselves". The web site said Al-Sistani's message "comes as a clear response to each and every attempt to foment sedition among Iraqis."( Qom Ayatollah Al-Sistani's Office WWW-Text in Arabic 16 May 2005)

 

IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES, 16 May 05

Al-Adalah

Al-Adalah [ Baghdad , twice-weekly newspaper in Arabic published by the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)] 16 May:

  • Iraqi government determined to uproot terrorism; PM to start tour of region;
  • [Condoleezza] Rice arrives in Iraq to discuss political process
  • Operation Matador over; 125 terrorists killed, others captured (KUNA quoted)
  • Al-Anbar governor released (AFP quoted)
  • Thirty-four bodies found, ten of them of Iraqi soldiers
  • Iraqi security forces kill 40 terrorists, capture 97 suspects in Ninawa (news agencies quoted)
  • [Foreign Minister] Zebari confirms Al-Ja'fari's government hopeful of establishing security in Iraq (news agencies quoted)
  • Iraqi authorities release four Jordanians arrested last month (news agencies quoted)
  • Another Iraqi prisoner dies in Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq (AFP quoted)
  • Industry Ministry denies sabotage attack on southern fertilizer plant
  • MP: Head of constitution committee to be selected next week (news agencies quoted)
  • According to The New York Times: Some forces in Iraq may lay down arms in return for role in power (AFP quoted)
  • Demonstration in Karbala in protest against insulting Sayyid Al-Sistani's photo (news agencies quoted)
  • Media reports accuse former electricity minister of corruption (Iraq Voices quoted)
  • Japan to build power station in Al-Samawah Health Ministry demands hazard allowances to its staff.

Baghdad

Baghdad [ Baghdad , daily newspaper in Arabic published by the Iraqi National Accord Movement] 16 May:

  • Rice in Baghdad calls for political alternative to end violence
  • Al-Sistani's representative assassinated in Baghdad (AFP quoted)
  • Al-Zarqawi wounded; Al-Qa'im operation ended; 39 gunmen arrested
  • Justice Ministry: 137 prisoners to be released from multinational force jails
  • In first news conference, government spokesman: Keen on involving all parties in political process
  • Diyala governor escapes assassination attempt; 23 bodies found in Baghdad , Al-Ramadi (Reuters quoted)
  • Two drivers killed in Al-Taji, Salah-al-Din Civilians killed in indiscriminate shoot-outs
  • Explosive devices detonated in Baghdad suburbs
  • Iraqi 2nd army brigade raids terrorist hideouts in Al-Hillah.

Al-Mu'tamar

Al-Mu'tamar [ Baghdad , daily newspaper in Arabic published by the Iraqi National Congress] 16 May:

  • Suicide bomber blows up himself among crowd in Ba'qubah
  • Allawi garners up support for return to power
  • Rice: Political action is better alternative than military action (KUNA quoted)
  • Police find bodies in Baghdad (Reuters quoted)
  • Free zone between Iraq , Jordan to be opened soon
  • Health Ministry reports rise in tuberculosis cases
  • Babil Electricity in worst condition
  • Integrity commission delegation attends Gulf investment conference.

Al-Zaman

Al-Zaman [daily, independent, Baghdad edition of London-based Al-Zaman] 16 May

  • Washington calls for political alternatives to face opponents to occupation;
  • Relief in Kurdistan after Rice confirmation to Barzani of US support to federalism
  • Karbala demonstration demands Kuwait apology
  • Accusations exchanged between former labour minister, integrity commission;
  • MPs, activists: Commission measures illegal Security forces arrest
  • Association of Muslim Scholars member Search campaign on Tigris bank;
  • Arrests reported in Al-Saqlawiyah
  • [Al-Anbar] Wave of assassinations hits officials from foreign, industry and education ministries
  • Forty-eight killed, wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in Ba'qubah
  • Families of prisoners demand their release from occupation jails
  • [Government spokesman] Laith Kubbah confirms Tehran 's involvement in smuggling network
  • Four Baghdadi Palestinians confess to implication in car bombings
  • Arrest warrant against former [female] minister sparks battle between integrity commission, women's organizations.

IRAQI PRESS QOUTES, 16 May 05

“Terrorism has exceeded all moral limits”- Al-Bayan

 

Al-Bayan[ Baghdad , daily newspaper in Arabic published by the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party] 16 May: [From commentary by Salim Rasul]

"Now that terrorism has exceeded all moral limits and gone beyond all boundaries the state must use the fiercest force at its disposal against terrorists It is more than a matter of a response to a popular reaction. The indiscriminate spiral of terror has begun to threaten the state's sovereignty, seriously jeopardizing the destiny decided by people of their own free will, and obstructing the project long awaited by Iraqis to build their country The demand to mete out maximum punishment to criminals represents a popular need on which mutual trust between the people and government depends."

 

“Iraqi political and civil organizations Strange silence towards evil of terrorism”- Al-Sharq al-Awsat

 

Al-Sharq al-Awsat [ Baghdad edition of London-based daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Saudi-owned] 16 May: [From commentary by Ahmad al-Rab'i]

 

"This strange silence by the Iraqi political forces and civil society organizations towards the evil of terrorism that kills the innocent raises several questions. Terrorism is striking everywhere, targeting innocent Iraqi civilians and police, at a time the Iraqi civil society forces are watching the scene as if absent or excluded. Can't these political forces and civil society institutions stage a massive demonstration in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities in a message telling those at home and abroad that the majority of Iraqis are against terrorism The Iraqi society needs an active political anti-terror move, aimed at reassuring people at home and sending a message on the true Iraqi position against terrorism."

 

IRAQI BROADCAST MEDIA HEADLINES, 16 May 05

Programme summary of Al-Iraqiyah TV news 16 May 05

  • Shi'i religious authority Grand Ayatollah Ali-al-Sistani meets Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari in Al-Najaf. (0:24)
  • Minister of Defence Sa'dun al-Dulaymi vows to stem violence, says Iraqi army has ten divisions. Video report covers presser, he says terrorism is coming to a close. ( 2:16 )
  • Shi'i leader Hojjat ol-Eslam Muqtada al-Sadr calls attacks on civilians crime, expresses support for political process. Video report covers his comment, condemnation of terrorism, calls for speedy de-Ba'thification. ( 1:07 )
  • Five students killed, others hurt in mortar attack on university. Video report covers attack on University of Al-Mustansariyah, students demanding harshest punishment for terrorists. ( 2:19 )
  • Six killed, others hurt in separate attacks. Video report
  • Two killed, four others hurt in roadside bomb in Baghdad . Video report
  • Cabinet continues efforts to include all groups in writing of constitution. Video report
  • Adnan al-Dulaymi, head of Sunni waqf, calls for end to violence. Video report
  • US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice renews support for Iraq . Video report covers her interview with Al-Iraqiyah. She urges Iraq neighbouring countries to end support for terrorists. ( 1:00 )
  • Quiet in Al-Qa'im following fighting between insurgents and multinational force; fleeing population returns to town. Video report shows town, government plan to provide humanitarian supplies. ( 2:36 )
  • New Minister of Industry and Minerals Usamah al-Najafi takes office. Video
  • Women want new constitution to respect rights of all Iraqis. Video report covers forum held by women group in Baghdad . ( 2:44 )
  • Weapon cache found by Ninawa police. Video report shows explosives, weapons, police commander comments. ( 1:11 )
  • Sa'd al-Din al-Hariri, son of ex Lebanese premier announces election list.
  • Poland marks anniversary of joining EU. Video report ( 1:43 )
  • Business bulletin. Arrest of fuel smugglers in Abu-al-Khasib. American military engineers start building of electric power station in Basra . Forum on free market economy held in Baghdad . Iraq share market report. Rise in numbers of ships entering Iraq southern port of Umm Qasr .

Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV news summary 16 May 05

  • US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice starts official visit to Qatar , concludes Iraq visit with meeting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
  • Rice meets Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari, expresses support for Iraqi government
  • Rice met earlier in her visit Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani
  • Sunni endowments department says it has started preparing list of its candidates to participate in commission tasked with drafting new constitution; Department Head Adnan Muhammad Salman al-Dulaymi welcomes Rice's statements to expand Sunnis' participation in political process; Still of Al-Dulaymi
  • Al-Dulaymi renews Sunni endowments department's call on Iraqi government to stop Iraqi Army storming of mosques
  • Spokesman of Association of Muslim Scholars Muthana Harith al-Dhari calls on Iraqi government to end raids on mosques and arrests
  • Iraqi Defence Minister Sa'dun al-Dulaymi gives orders to Iraqi Army not to storm mosques, universities
  • Prominent Shi'i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls on all Iraqis to observe self-restraint
  • Convoy of senior Iraqi officer came under attack in Al-Saydiyah area in southern Baghdad , guards kill four gunmen killed
  • Two students in the faculty of engineering killed, 11 wounded when a rocket landed in the faculty building in central Baghdad
  • Iraqi police found 14 bodies last night in al-Sha'b district in northern Baghdad ; Still of Sunni Cleric Abd-al-Salam Al-Kubaysi
  • Five people killed, seven wounded in a mortar attack this morning on an Iraqi Army position in Khan Bani-Sa'd, northeastern Baghdad; Video shows citizens near destroyed vehicle at scene of attack, destroyed building
  • Officials in Iraqi oil sector say resumption of pumping oil via oil pipeline in northern Iraq will not start before 10 days
  • Three Iraqis working for Kuwaiti TV killed in an ambush in Al-Latifiyah, south of Baghdad . This came hours after a demonstration in Karbala in protest at offending prominent Shi'i cleric Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in a concert on Kuwait TV. Video shows bodies at morgue, their Ids
  • Convoy of humanitarian aid left this morning for Al-Qa'im on Iraqi-Syrian border
  • Some of the displaced people of Al-Qa'im start returning to their houses
  • International news with video clips: One third of the bribes in the oil-for-food programme in Iraq went to Russian personalities.

TV shows confessions of Palestinians charged with Baghdad attack

Al-Iraqiyah TV on 14 May carried an episode of its programme "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" featuring "confessions" by four Palestinians suspected of detonating a booby-trapped vehicle in the Baghdad al-Jadidah neighbourhood on 12 May. The programme began by showing a man sitting on a chair while an unidentified, unseen speaker made a statement about "a dastardly bombing that led to the martyrdom of many of our sons. Instead of kissing the hands of the noble Iraqis, they started to lie in wait for them and tear them limb from limb. Is this the gratitude that the pure, chaste, and zealous Iraqis deserve for the favours they extended to them". The speaker added that the perpetrators were apprehended within nine hours on the night of 12/13 May. The first suspect said his name is Amir Abdallah Mahmud Milhim and he is a Palestinian who has been living in Iraq since 1948. He then proceeded to describe how he tore up a vehicle and installed 300 kg of TNT in it, as instructed by a fellow Palestinian called Idi. He said his brother, Adnan, and Idi took the car and they blew it up. Milhim said the aim of the operation was to blow up the Americans. Asked what he felt when he saw the dead people and the mangled bodies, he said: "Sir, I had a psychological depression because I made a grave mistake." The speaker reminded him of the Iraqis who were martyred fighting on behalf of the Palestinians and added: "Is that how you reward the Iraqis? You should sacrifice your lives instead, so that the Iraqi people can stand on their feet." The speaker then interviewed Umar Abdallah Mahmud Milhim, another Palestinian residing in Iraq , who has a bruised, swollen eye. He said he worked as a barber in Baghdad al-Jadidah. Asked what his role was in the operation, Milhim said he detonated the car from about 100 meters away. He says that he was promised 300 dollars which he did not receive. A third Palestinian, Faraj Abdallah Mahmud, said his part in the operation was to wire up the boobytrapped car. He said this is the second car he has wired. Another Palestinian, Mas'ud Nur-al-Din Muhammad, alias Ghazwan, said his aim "was to disturb the security conditions and create anarchy." The speaker then questioned an Iraqi national named Kazim Jawad who he said was mentally disturbed. He said Kazim used to go to Ghazwan who fed him and send him to "certain places". He said was arrested at a funeral and had told the police about Ghazwan. The speaker then criticized certain "newspapers, like Al-Ittijah al-Akhar, and Al-Basa'ir, and others which criticize the Dhi'b Brigade." He added: "Have these editors conscience? Are they not shaken by these crimes?" He described them as "terrorist newspapers that must account for what they write". ( Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic 1705 GMT 14 May 2005)

Iraq 's Dubai-based Al-Fayha TV to shut down after UAE refuses licence

The Dubai-based Iraqi TV Al-Fayha was on 15 May observed to report that it was about to shut down because the UAE authorities refused to renew its licence. The news came during a phone in programme, "The space of freedom", when presenter Hisham al-Diwan told a caller: "We have said nothing and they do not want to renew our licence. We will not continue. What do you want us to do? What can we do? Shall we transmit from Mars or the space? Do the Iraqi people not need a media platform? This is the only available place. We said nothing and they want to annul our licence. What shall we do?". (Al-Fayha TV, Dubai , in Arabic 15 May 05)

 

UPDATES FROM THE KURDISH PERSS, 16 May 2005

Xebat, daily newspaper issued in Erbil by the KDP

  • KDP leader Massoud Barzani received in his Salahuddin HQ north of Erbil on Sunday the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who described Barzani as a prudent leader who can play a great role in rebuilding federal Iraq . She said she came to consult with Barzani.
  • The Chinese Ambassador to Baghdad visited KDP leader Barzani in Salahuddin town on Sunday and invited him officially to visit China . Barzani accepted the invitation.

Aso, weekly newspaper issued in Kirkuk by Xandan Publishing House

  • (op-ed) What does Jaafari want from Turkey ? Since the twice-sworn-in PM Ibrahim Jaafari took office, terrorism, instability and anarchy are spreading in central and southern parts of Iraq . At this sensitive time when terrorism threatens all of us, Jaafari intends to visit Turkey while the Iraqi people expect him to focus on the domestic affairs! According to news reports, he may discuss the existence of PKK [the major political party of Turkey ’s rebel Kurds] in border areas of Iraqi Kurdistan. This exactly what is expected from him being the man who cannot conceal his anti-Kurdish intensions. He may wish to try to bring back to the ‘lovely North’ [the term used by Saddam and anti-Kurds to avoid using the name of Kurdistan ] the Iraqi army under the pretext of fighting PKK while this army is not able to control [ Iraq ’s] southern and central areas.
  • Jaafari knows that the Iraqi Kurds are not for the PKK policies and usage of their territory as launch pad for any external politics, but he does not know, or pretends not to know, that the Kurds are not ready to fight their Kurdish brethren. However, our Iraqi fellow citizens are more than ready to help fighting PKK according to news reports.
  • One can say that Jaafari’s visit to Turkey means opening Kurdistan file under the pretext of containg PKK while Iraq’s southern file (Muqtada Sadr’s anarchies) and that of the Sunni areas (Al-Qai’m fighting) are not settled yet. So opening another front in the ‘North’, which is Iraq ’s most stable area?
  • Is Jaafari repeating the same mistake of the former regimes – searching for regional support against fellow Kurdish citizens?
  • The Kurds are worried. It sis true that Turkey is changing and heading towards openness, but visits like that of Jaafari tickles Turkey’s archetypal Kurdish policy. Fighting PKK, which will create turmoil in [Iraqi] Kurdistan Region, has always been an urgent and immediate objective for the [Turkish] army.
  • With the signature of the Kurdish mayor of Khanaqeen district, the Kurdish areas are being re-Arabized. The Mayor has signed, with other officials from Khanaqeen and Jalawla subdistrict, on the minutes of a meeting that decided to return to Arab settlers the plots of agricultural lands in Ahmed Gula Village in Shekh Bawa area of Jalawla subdistrict that were confiscated from the Kurdish farmers under the toppled regime in 1970s. The decision that has been labeled as “temporary until a final settlement is decided by the higher ranks [in the government],” angered the Kurds, who warned the Arab settlers from coming back to the area.
  • The Iraqi immigration authorities are planning to transfer the eastern [Iranian] Kurdish refugees against their will from Altash camp near Rumadi to a new camp near Bazyan in Kurdistan Region. One of the refugees said that the Iraqi immigration department has registered their names recently and informed them to get ready for moving to the new camp. The source further said that the Sulaymanya administration of the KRG cooperates with the Iraqi department to transfer the refugees in cooperation with and in coordination with UNHCR and Qandil – a Swedish NGO.
  • Four youths from Goptapa village are in the custody of the KRG-Sulaymanya security department in Chamchamal since 30 April for criticizing the government and attempting to prevent the KRG and political parties from commemorating the 17th anniversary of the former regime’s bombardment of their village with chemical weapons. An informative source said on condition of anonymity that the arrestees have said during the commemoration ceremony that they would not allow organizing such ceremonies where officials distribute promises to the villagers without fulfilling them. Chamchamal Security Department arrested the 4 youths after the end of the ceremony and their in jail since then, the source added. A source from the security department in Chamchamal denied the arrest adding that none was arrested by the department on such grounds.
  • Kurdistan Islamic Union (Yakgirtu) is in the process of launching a satellite TV station soon, said leadership committee member Salahuddin Babakir. The party has more than 30 local radio and TV stations throughout Kurdistan Region currently.

 

Hewler Globe, weekly magazine printed in Erbil

  • How to interpret Kurdistanness and Iraqiness in the political system? By Saro Qadir

It has been two years since the former regime was toppled by the allies, with the help of Kurds. There was at the time a united message and stand between Kurdistani political parties, with regard to the position and demands of the Kurd and the shape of state of Iraqi government, which is something to be proud of. However, a crack is emerging among the Kurdistani ranks at the third cabinet of the new federal government of Iraq, which other than having a strong bloc in the federal parliament Kurds also achieved and hold a large number of ministerial portfolios as well as the post of the president of the republic which is held by his Excellency Jalal Talabani. At present an old view has emerged and that is the domination of Iraqi stamp on the Kurdistan regional government. It is likely that this narrow party interest has emerged because of pressure of those newly arrived entities. They are calling in a loud voice that the all laws passed in Kurdistan should be rewritten according to Iraqi system.

They are also calling to delay the drafting of constitution of Kurdistan after the Iraqi one has been ratified, while their slogan it is our territory from Zakho to Faw, and the danger lies here. Iraqiness within the history of national liberation movement of Kurdistan has emerged during the forties of the last century. At the time, the communists were working from the premise of their ideological standpoint pursued their political principles. On the other hand, despite the continued confrontation between the liberation movement and the establishment at the time and throughout Iraqi successive government, and because adverse geo-political realities the national liberation movement of Kurdistan was forced to include an Iraqi dimension within its political agenda, programmes and objectives. This could be mainly summed up by the clause pertaining to the territorial unity of Iraq and the aim to establish democracy. However, following the uprising people of Kurdistan in 1991, the establishment of the national and revolutionary government, which received international support, the nation of forced Iraqiness had loosened but with the downfall of the regime in 2003 this imposed concept has completely lost its legitimacy.

In this phase more work on is required to insist on differentiating and safeguarding the distinctive characteristics of the political systems in Kurdistan , which has 14 years of experience in self-rule and that a generation have lived under its auspices. There is now an Iraq which is not clear long it can keep itself together and we also don know how far Shi’I and Sunni Arabs can coexist together and if the agree, will they recognize the independence of Kurdistan and how long the political system in Kurdistan attached to it? The holding of posts by Kurds within the Iraq government has a status emissary or representative attached to it and not in creating the mantra: Iraq is my homeland. In view of the fact that so far we have been in negotiation with Iraqi Arab politicians and we have not reached a position, which could give us assurances. Who says that we reach it anyway?

 

  • This Crisis will also pass By: Aso Kerim

Recently there have been rumours about a crisis concerning the state of democracy in Kurdistan , and at the same time it has been suggested that Iraq can benefit from the democratic experience of our region. Where did such rumours originate? Iraq through its national assembly has appointed a committee to draft its constitution two months after holding general elections. The assembly also held many sessions including one that elected the presidential council of the republic and another that gave a vote of confidence to the cabinet of Iraq ’s new premier Dr Ibrahim Ja’fari.

There is no doubt that there are many problems within Iraq that can not be compared to those of Kurdistan, because for the past 14 years our region has enjoyed a different state of affairs and our security conditions may even be better. Kurdistan has also established civil institutions and has been steadily pursuing the path of democracy for its society. The other difference between the two is that Kurdistanis fully subscribe to the notion of pluralism and have grown accustomed to diverse opinions and this has now become a part of their culture. However, Kurdistanis have voiced their concerns regarding the current crisis between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (the KDP), and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (the PUK), and these concerns could probably threaten the democratic process, tolerance towards one another, and the propensity for the acceptance of different opinions. Furthermore, it may also have an adverse effect on the economy, trade, and on people’s daily lives. This is an indication that despite 14 years of self-rule, civil institutions in the society have not been consolidated and separated from the political authority. In addition, democracy has not been set on the right path and in short, Kurdistan has embarked on the path of democracy while still in the midst of many challenges and much pain.

It seems that issues such as these are always inherent within the process of the development of social and political life. Then again, the path to democracy can’t be measured by a graphic chart showing a steady progression of implementation of democratic values. Instead it is a crooked line with ups and downs, set backs and rises, drops, and some times just plummets.

The important thing to remember is that after the long bitter experience of a fratricidal war, there is a determination to accept one another and to reach a compromise solution on the existing crisis and other issues. As fate would have it, the present crisis which now exists within the Kurdistani political leadership would mean that the KDP and the PUK would nevertheless have to work together in order to safeguard and increase the Kurdistani political weight. The best ways for this to succeed is to adhere to the principles of democracy, coexist, and live in harmony. It is true that the elected parliament should have convened, a president for the Kurdistan region should have been elected, a government of national unity in Kurdistan should have been formed, and work should have begun on drafting the constitution of the Kurdistan region. However, because of differing views between the KDP and the PUK on the issue of the authority of the post of the president of Kurdistan , these steps that should have been previously taken have still not yet been carried out. Despite all of this I would like to remind you of the following:

1. It is never easy to bring about reconciliation and to have mutual confidence in a country that has experienced in fighting and to have two sides who only yesterday were rivals now working together. This will take time, but this is the truth and it has to be said.

2. The KDP and the PUK are two large political parties in Kurdistan whose cooperation and unity is a necessity and a must, and the issue of authority needs to be negotiated. The presence of contrasting views is a normal and natural thing and no side, party, or individual has the right to further expand their domain [at the expense of the other]. The reason being that opponents will soon exploit the differences in positions and would consider it a crisis in democracy and authority in Kurdistan .

3. The only way out of this small crisis is for the two sides to agree on a compromise solution and to put all other differences in this phase on hold for another time.

4. The KDP and the PUK should bring all other Kurdistani forces and allies together in their negotiation in order to help find a compromise solution, particularly since we have the 15th of August deadline ahead of us which is the date where the draft of the permanent constitution of Iraq will be finalized. The draft will then be submitted for approval in December of this year after which time the people of Kurdistan will be faced with a destiny-shaping elections.

5. Everyone including Kirkuk took part in the elections thus we should face our problems together with a clear conscience and together we should reap the benefits. There is no other realistic or equitable way. Fate has made it like this and so far the cultures of western democracies that is to say the rule of majority over minority, won’t be applicable to us.

***

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 or alsokhni@un.org

 

 



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