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Cablegate: Dhi Qar Prt: Shaykh Decries Islamic Parties, Wants

VZCZCXRO3900
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0261 0291313
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291313Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5470
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000261

SIPDIS

SBU
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR PTER POL PINR
SUBJECT: DHI QAR PRT: SHAYKH DECRIES ISLAMIC PARTIES, WANTS
PRT HELP

1. (SBU) The information in this cable is sensitive but
unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

SIPDIS

2. (SBU) This is a PRT Dhi Qar reporting cable.

3. (SBU) Summary: On January 23 Dhi Qar IPAO met with Shaykh
Alwan Hakim al-Hamaid. Alwan claimed that his tribe has been
ignored by the U.S. and the 'Islamic parties' that run the
governorate. A member of the Council of Southern Tribes, he
asked for PRT project assistance and emphasized the need to
provide employment opportunities for young men in his tribe.
End Summary.

4. (SBU) Shaykh Alwan said he was the official
representative of the al-Rikab tribe and a member of the
Council of Southern Tribes. He claimed that the al-Rikab is
one fo the bigger tribes in Iraq, stretching from Basrah to
al-Qud. The tribe, with approximately 250,000 members, is
centered in Nasiriyah, with urban concentrations in Basrah
and Baghdad.

5. (SBU) Alwan complained that the political and economic
situation in Dhi Qar is dominated by the 'Islamic parties,'
including Da'wa, Office of the Matyr Sadr (OMS), and ISCI.
He claimed that these parties have prevented the tribal
shaykhs from participating in public life or benefiting from
development projects. According to Alwan, local politics are
open to only shaykhs that "sign their life away to one of
those parties" or enjoy close ties to Iran. Alwan made it
clear that he has no sympathy for any Islamic party and, as a
result, finds himself without much of a public role.

6. (SBU) Alwan claimed that the Rikab tribe has suffered
from neglect under the current political system and in dire
need of employment generation and economic development
projects. At present, he complained, the young men of the
tribe have little or no employment opportunities and are
provide a ready pool for recruiters from the Iraqi army and
police as well as Islamic parties looking for additional
gunmen. He emphasized his desire to halt this phenomenon by
providing better work opportunities.

7. (SBU) Alwan asked for direct help from the PRT, saying
that while the Rikab tribe has always supported the Americans
it has received nothing in return. Alwan emphasized that the
best projects for his region would be in the areas of
agriculture, health and education. High priorities include
irrigation projects for tribal farmers, water purification
plants, and assistance in wheat and date production.
BUTENIS

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