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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 03 KUWAIT 002412

SIPDIS

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
USAID FOR USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/FFP
USAID FOR DCHA/OTI, DCHA/DG, ANE/AA
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA:WGARVELINK, BMCCONNELL, KFARNSWORTH USAID FOR
ANE/AA:WCHAMBERLIN
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


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. DART Field Team North visited Dahuk on 20 May and met with
the regional governor. MOHAC and UNOPS are discussing IDPs and
return issues, and UNOPS has been conducting a survey of IDPs in
northern Iraq. The DART traveled to Zemmar in Ninawa governorate
on 22 May to attend a meeting to discuss how the current harvest
would be shared and plans to purchase a portion of the harvest.
At the request of WFP, the DART met with Coalition forces at the
Tall'Afar silo, approximately 70 kilometers west of Mosul. WFP
plans to import approximately 136,000 MT of wheat to the Mosul
area from Syria in 5,000 MT per day increments beginning in the
next few days, and storage space is needed. End Summary.

-----------------------------------------
DART MEETING WITH DAHUK REGIONAL GOVERNOR
-----------------------------------------

2. On 20 May, the DART met with the regional governor in Dahuk,
Mr. Nechirvan Ahmed. The governor was critical of Coalition
forces for bringing back Ba'athists to Domiz, a Dahuk suburb.
Arabs who were living there fled during the conflict and the
Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) took over the town. However, on 7
May, Coalition forces evicted Kurds who had recently moved into
Domiz and began allowing the Arabs to return.

3. The DART later visited Domiz, a somewhat run-down Western-
style development that was originally built by a French oil
company. Coalition forces in Domiz explained that Kurds had
recently bought 54 houses and that there were around 160 Kurdish
families out of 900 in the town.

4. The governor also noted the importance of the regional
harvest being purchased but was unsure of U.N. Security Council
Resolution 986 restrictions. The DART informed the governor that
restrictions on local purchases in the northern governorates were
no longer in effect, and that a plan was being prepared to
purchase part of the harvest.

--------------------------------------------
MINISTRY OF HUMANITARIAN AID AND COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------

5. The Ministry of Humanitarian Aid and Cooperation (MOHAC)
hosted its weekly coordination meeting on 21 May. Non-
governmental organizations continue to arrive in northern Iraq
and are using this meeting to introduce themselves to the rest of
the humanitarian community. While the MOHAC meetings serve a
purpose, there is widespread interest in reducing the number of
sectoral meetings held each week (there are meetings every day).
This issue was discussed, and MOHAC and the Civil Military
Operations Center (CMOC) will be looking at options, such as
rotating meetings or having monthly or bi-weekly vs. weekly
meetings. A suggested schedule will be presented in the near
future.

6. MOHAC and the United Nations Office for Project Services
(UNOPS) are now discussing internally displaced persons (IDPs)
and return issues. UNOPS has been conducting a survey of IDPs to
determine where they live, where they plan to return, and when
they plan to return. UNOPS was scheduled to present the results
at a 17 May meeting in Arbil, but asked for more time to compile
the results of their survey.

--------------------
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
--------------------

7. On 22 May, the DART traveled to Zemmar in Ninawa governorate
to attend a meeting to discuss how the current harvest would be
shared between the Arabs and the Kurds and upcoming plans to
purchase a portion of the harvest. The meeting was chaired by
Coalition forces and attended by governorate and local officials
and local Kurdish and Arab leaders. While the Coalition
spokesperson acknowledged that the land issue was an extremely
critical one, with a history of "over 30 years of oppression," he
said that it would have to be resolved in the courts, after the
harvest, not in the meeting. At the appropriate time, he said,
claimants would produce land and ancestry documentation, and
ownership would be resolved and enforced by the rule of law.

8. Despite the Coalition representative's efforts, much of the
discussion still centered on land issues. There was much tension
between the Kurdish and Arab participants, and the Arabs at one
point stood up en masse to walk out of the meeting (but ended up
sitting back down).

9. The Coalition representative announced that the current
harvest purchase prices were USD 80 per MT for wheat and USD 60
per MT for barley. He noted that he had personally told the
Presidential Envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer, that these were too low,
and he hoped they could be raised to USD 105 per MT for wheat and
USD 65 per MT for barley. Arab farmers expressed displeasure
that these prices were still too low, noting that the wheat price
received last year, 150,000 Old Iraqi Dinar per MT, was now
equivalent to approximately USD 150 per MT.

10. While neither side was happy with the Coalition-proposed 50
- 50 split of the harvest between the original (Kurdish) owners
and those who currently control the land (Arab farmers), the
Coalition representative announced that there would be no further
discussion on the issue.

------------------
VISIT TO TALL'AFAR
------------------

10. At the request of the United Nations World Food Program
(WFP), whose international staff cannot access grain silos
outside of Mosul in Ninawa governorate due to U.N. security
restrictions, the DART visited the Tall'Afar silo, approximately
70 kilometers west of Mosul. There they met with Coalition
forces and Iraqi staff at the complex. WFP plans to import
approximately 136,000 MT of wheat to the Mosul area from Syria in
5,000 MT per day increments beginning in the next few days, and
storage space is needed.

11. The silo was not looted as it was protected by local
security guards (it is now protected by Coalition forces) and
currently functions well. Its 33 bins have a capacity of
approximately 75,000 MT, with outer underground and open bin
capacity of approximately 50,000 MT.

12. Staff at the silo noted that the complex currently held
approximately 50,000 MT of wheat, and was releasing around 800 MT
daily to Mosul mills. The staff believed that it could receive
1,000 MT per day (shoveled out manually). Up to 1,500 MT per day
could be received if two shifts were employed, as often is
arranged at the peak of the harvest season. The silo staff did
receive the USD 20 emergency payments, but they are concerned
about their salaries.

13. Regarding the WFP Oil for Food incoming stocks, the silo
authorities were informed that they would receive 25,000 MT at
1,000 MT per day. They stressed that this should not present a
major problem. In short, the Tall'Afar silo appears ready to
receive the quantities proposed by WFP, but WFP staff will need
to be present during the offloading to prevent any delays, which
requires a relaxing of the current security restrictions for WFP
international staff.

JONES

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