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Cablegate: Prt Tikrit: Community Leaders Highlight Challenges

VZCZCXRO1115
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4501/01 3441234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101234Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8402
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004501

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAGER IR IZ
SUBJECT: PRT TIKRIT: COMMUNITY LEADERS HIGHLIGHT CHALLENGES
FACING SAD AT PROVINCE-WIDE CONFERENCE

1. (U) This is a PRT Tikrit, Salah ad Din cable.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. On November 30, representatives from
Salah ad Din's private sector, academia, citizens? groups
and municipal governments met in Tikrit for a Dialogue
and Communication Conference sponsored by the 3BCT and
the PRT. The Governor and Deputy Governor were also in
attendance. Designed to promote Iraqi responsibility for
improved governance and to elicit ideas for economic
development, the conference also provided an essential
forum for important public and private sector actors to
discuss the difficult challenges facing Salah ad Din
(SaD). . END SUMMARY.

----------------
A Resurgent DACC
----------------

3. (SBU) CF created the Dialogue and Communication
Conference (DACC) in 2004 to be a forum for community
leaders to discuss important concerns with provincial
government representatives and CF. Dormant for several
years, CF and the PRT revived the DACC by inviting a
diverse group of 21 prominent local judges, businessmen,
teachers, reporters, and doctors to the event on November
30. The participants were assigned to one of five small
discussion groups - governance, rule of law, education,
economics, and healthcare - based on their area of
expertise.

---------
Economics
---------

4. (SBU) Aside from the abysmal security situation,
participants highlighted the lack of small-business
lending and banking services as a major impediment to
sustained economic growth. While lamenting the failure
of private banks (such as Dar Es Salaam) to establish
local branches, the delegates did express hope that the
pending Iraqi Investment Law would provide greater
opportunities to attract foreign and domestic capital.

5. (SBU) Group members also discussed the dire shortage
of agricultural inputs in SaD such as fuel, fertilizer,
and seed. Charging the GOI with neglect of the province,
several representatives from Tikrit stated that their
municipalities may support area farmers through fuel
cards and other subsidies. Executing such a program
would be a challenge for a municipal government without
revenue-raising ability. The suggestion reflects the high
level of frustration with the Ministry of Agriculture as
well as a willingness by local leaders to explore a more
autonomous approach to address community issues.

-----------
Rule of Law
-----------

6. (SBU) The rule of law group meeting was attended by
Provincial Chief Judge, the Chief of the Provincial Joint
Coordination Committee (PJCC), the Deputy Governor, and
PRT/CF representatives. The participants agreed that a
Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) and supporting
detention facilities ? which would try and detain
suspected insurgents rather than alleged regular
criminals ? should be created in SaD. To enhance Iraqi
judicial protection capabilities, group members proposed
the creation of a provincial branch of the Iraqi Marshal
Service, expressing the hope that the upcoming U.S.
Marshals visit would be of significant assistance in this
process.

7. (SBU) CF representatives agreed to coordinate the
discharge of detainees with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)
through the PJCC before the actual release takes place.
While CF generally maintain a higher evidentiary
requirement in order to detain a suspect, the accord is
consistent with both parties' common goal to confine and
try suspected AIF members.

----------
Governance
----------

8. (SBU) During the governance group SaD civic leaders
spoke out on key provincial issues ? such as better
enforcement of anti-corruption laws and more transparent
budget execution - as well as national topics such as de-
Baathification and pensions for former Iraqi National

BAGHDAD 00004501 002 OF 002


Army members. The delegates identified a low level of
public awareness of USG-funded projects; one
representative even suggested that support for AIF
primarily stemmed from a common belief that the U.S. was
not improving the life of the Iraqi people. Various
group members also stated that the media was controlled
by CF, without any freedom of the press.

9. (SBU) The representatives unanimously agreed that
provincial elections should be held as soon as possible
to empower areas such as Bayji and Ad Dawr that did not
participate in the previous election. Additionally, many
of the delegates opined that the process of electing
party lists rather than individual candidates should be
changed, arguing that it enables the election of corrupt
and inefficient officials.

---------
Education
---------

10. (SBU) The dominant theme in the education group
discussion was the lack of personnel, physical, and
financial resources facing teachers in SaD. Many
participants noted that the reintegration of former
Baathists would help, but not alleviate the current
shortage of instructors (NOTE: Due to de-Baathification,
459 teachers in the SaD school system were suspended in
2003-2004, and have yet to be reinstated despite their
records and waiver petitions having been with the
National De-Baathification Commission for over two
years). The concern that the current educational budget
was insufficient to obtain adequate staffing or resources
was also emphasized. Some participants also suggested
that SaD schools partner with foreign universities to
improve the level of education.

11. (SBU) Many delegates stated that there is a direct
relationship between improving security and successful
educational initiatives. For example, adult education is
a priority in SaD but underutilized because many students
are unable to travel away from home for fear of attack.

----------
Healthcare
----------

12. (SBU) Four local hospital/clinic directors met with
the 3BCT surgeon to discuss proposals to improve the
healthcare system in SaD. Key points included
reorganizing local hospitals to improve emergency medical
services, recruiting and train more nurses (including
males, which they also saw as an employment opportunity
for a target group), and improving supply of medical
products and fuel. The committee members - recognizing
that CF medical services will not be available
indefinitely - were in agreement that the Ministry of
Defense (MOD) will need to create and sustain a military
medical system as it did under the previous regime. The
present Iraqi civilian healthcare system is incapable of
treating large numbers of ISF casualties.


13. (U) For additional reporting from PRT Tikrit, Salah
ad Din, please see our SIPRNET Reporting Blog:
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Tikrit.
KHALILZAD

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