Cablegate: Dart Northern Iraq Update
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KUWAIT 002299
STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
STATE PLEASE REPEAT TO IO COLLECTIVE
STATE FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB
NSC FOR EABRAMS, SMCCORMICK, STAHIR-KHELI, JDWORKEN
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ROME FOR FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: DART NORTHERN IRAQ UPDATE
1. DART Field Team North reports that there have been several
violent incidents in Kirkuk with reports of several deaths. More
Kurds are returning to villages in the Makhmur region, and there
is little public infrastructure to support major influxes of
returnees. WFP will begin receiving 136,000 MT of bulk wheat, in
5,000 MT increments, from stocks in Syria. WFP has requested MOT
assistance in locating storage space for the wheat. End Summary
2. Two non-governmental organization (NGO) vehicles were
attacked on the Kirkuk to Baghdad road on 15 May. In an apparent
act of banditry, shots were fired at one of the vehicles. The
vehicle sustained damage, but no one was hurt.
3. Between 16 and 18 May, fighting between Arabs and Kurds took
place in Kirkuk. The reasons are still unclear, but some suggest
that Ba'ath loyalists attacked Kurds. Several people were
injured or killed. An incident over land issues in the Sinjara
area west of Mosul left one Arab dead. Coalition forces arrested
4. Many Kurds who were forced out of their homes in past years
by the former regime are now trying to return to Kirkuk city.
Kirkuk epitomizes the ethnic mix and potential for conflict in
Iraq and how the return issue is addressed could have profound
effects on inter-ethnic relations in the region.
RURAL WATER SECTOR MEETING
5. The Minister of Reconstruction and Development (MORAD) in
Arbil hosted a rural water sector meeting on 18 May. In an
attempt to solicit assistance from the NGO and international
organization communities, the Ministry presented its 2003 plan to
implement 103 renovation projects and 112 new projects. These
projects do not include proposed activities in the "newly
liberated" areas of southern Arbil Governorate.
DART VISIT TO MAKHMUR REGION
6. On 19 May, DART Field Team North visited villages in southern
Arbil governorate. The DART met with local villagers, newly
arrived returnees, and Coalition representatives responsible for
operations in the region.
7. More Kurds are returning to villages in the region, and there
is little public infrastructure to support major influxes of
returnees. Water supply appears to be an issue, although in the
villages visited there were hand-dug wells that could be easily
cleaned to provide accessible water.
8. Ethnic tensions are escalating in villages near the old
"green line". Historically these villages had a mix of Kurds and
Arabs. In the village of Shamamak, the DART met with Arabs who
said that on 17 May a local Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP)
peshmerga commander from Gwer (who is actually from Shamamak) had
come to them with four armed men and told them they must leave
the village. The Arabs fear that without Coalition intervention
in the next few days, they would have to move to Mosul.
9. The DART visited Coalition forces in Makhmur to discuss this
incident. A Coalition source said the incident would be followed
up on. He also said that this sort of incident was becoming
10. At Grd Graw, near the border with Ninawa governorate,
Kurdish returnees informed the DART that water supplies, usually
piped from Haji Ali in Ninawa, had been disrupted. They blamed
remaining Ba'athists in that area for their lack of water. The
DART has not confirmed whether there is indeed something sinister
causing the disruption of water supplies, or if there is a simple
mechanical problem. The DART will follow up on this with
Coalition authorities in Makhmur.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
11. The DART and a U.N. World Food Program (WFP) representative
met on 18 May with the manager of the Ninawa Grain Board in
Mosul. The meeting was held to explain that WFP was going to
begin receiving 136,000 metric tons (MT) of bulk wheat, in 5,000
MT increments, from stocks in Syria, and to request Ministry of
Trade (MOT) assistance in locating storage space for the wheat.
The manager assured WFP that he would meet with regional silo
managers to ensure space. Storage space in Mosul is limited, but
regional silos are available to store some of the stock.
On a 19 May visit to Makhmur, the DART met a Kurd and two Arabs
who were surveying fields of wheat and barley. They explained
that the Kurd, a doctor now practicing in Arbil, owned
approximately 1,000 dunam (1 dunam equals 2500 square feet) near
the village of Nogharan, and that the Arabs had each rented 120
dunam from another Arab who had been given the land sometime in
the 1990s. The doctor and the two Arabs were in the process of
agreeing how to split the harvest, this in accordance with a
recent edict from Mosul, Arbil, Makhmur, and Coalition
authorities. The doctor was not pleased with the situation,
though he was relieved to be back on his land. However, he was
committed to following the agreement to the letter. The Arabs,
from Mosul, seemed happy to be receiving anything. All in all,
the split appeared to be a good, short-term solution to bring the
harvest in successfully.
DART-FUNDED NGO ACTIVITIES IN NORTHERN IRAQ
12. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) met with the DART
on 20 May and presented a concept paper for activities in
northern Iraq. IRC staff then traveled to Baghdad to meet with
colleagues from southern Iraq to finalize implementation plans
that will be submitted in the coming days. Possible activities
include waste collection, sewer network cleansing, and water
treatment plant repairs in the Kirkuk area.
13. The International Medical Corps is re-equipping and
renovating four health centers in Kirkuk that were looted
following the war.
14. Mercy Corps International (MCI) is providing short-term
assistance to the Directorate of Water and Sewerage in Kirkuk.
MCI will assist the Directorate with transportation for staff and
testing equipment. MCI is also providing short-term emergency
assistance to the water treatment plant in Khaniqeen, Diyala
governorate, and they are also providing two emergency Health
Kits to health facilities in Tekef and Ain Sifni, near Mosul.
15. Save the Children (SCF) has several active projects in
Mosul. They are providing transportation for health workers to
and from hospitals and primary health care centers; gasoline,
cooking gas, cleaning supplies and emergency repairs for Al
Khansa and Al Atheer hospitals; and supplies for supplementary
feeding programs at those two hospitals.
IDPS AND LAND TENURE
16. The DART visited a small camp for internally displaced
persons (IDPs) on the outskirts of Mosul where eleven families
have taken shelter near an abandoned Iraqi army base that is now
used by the Coalition. While at the camp, the DART learned that
children had discovered unexploded ordnance while playing in a
nearby field. Coalition forces were immediately notified, and
they promptly removed the ordnance.
17. Land tenure issues appear to be heating up with the
population perceiving little movement on this issue from the U.S.
Government. An estimated eighty percent of the issues are
complex but not difficult if a date can be agreed to for the last
reasonable Iraqi law and if the registered land system has not
been tampered with, as indicated by most local leaders. There
will be cases that will need to be worked out in the courts
and/or require the involvement of local traditional leaders.
18. Coalition forces in Mosul are involved in the sale of houses
(USD 1,000 per unit) in Domiz, which was previously Kurdish land.
The houses were built by the former regime. The Coalition
objective is to have an integrated community with 200 Kurdish
families and 600 Arab families.