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Cablegate: Eprt Diyala South: How Conflicting Lines

DE RUEHGB #4049/01 3471009
R 131009Z DEC 07




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) This is an ePRT Diyala South reporting cable.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The emergence of effective local government in
Diyala Province is stalling due to conflicting lines of authority, a
lack of defined roles and responsibilities, and disconnects with
ministerial representatives from the central government who retain
control of key services. Without a Provincial Powers Act that
clearly defines powers and responsibilities, locally accountable
government will not be able to take on and manage the provision of
services at the local level. END SUMMARY

Outline of Government Structures

3. (U) The Provincial Government - excluding the courts and
security services - breaks down into three main entities: i) the
Provincial Council (PC), ii) the Governor's Office, and, iii) the
Provincial Directors General (DGs) representing national ministries.
The Province furthermore is comprised of five Qadas: Baqubah,
Khalis, Muqdadiyah, Khanaqin, and Balad Ruz, with each Qada in turn
split into several Nahiyas or groupings of several villages or

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4. (U) The Provincial Council has the ability to approve the
budget, remove the Governor, and to disband Qada and Nahiya
Councils. It exercises no real authority over the Provincial DGs.
The Governor manages provincial budget development and execution,
and various other provincial government activities. The Provincial
DGs are in charge of managing the provision of the service overseen
by their respective ministry, and have their own subordinate
offices. While the Governor has little direct authority over the
Provincial DGs, he does play a coordinating role and is able to
demand reports from them. The Governor can also pressure the
ministries in Baghdad of the respective DGs, and has been known to
have recalcitrant DGs put in jail for a few days.

The Example of Baqubah Qada:
Lines and Layers of Authority

5. (U) In theory, the three "branches" of government - i) the
Provincial Council (PC), ii) the Governor's Office, and, iii) the
Provincial Directors General (DGs) representing national ministries
- should be mirrored at the level of Qada and Nahiya. This,
however, is not the case in Baqubah. Baqubah Qada has a Qada
Council (QC), which, like the PC, selects the Qada Mayor or Qaim
Maqam. Each Nahiya in the Qada also has a Nahiya Council (NC),
which selects the Nahiya Mayor. The Qada Mayor and QC also serve as
the government for the city of Baqubah. In practice, the QC's
authority does not extend beyond the city; and the Qada Mayor is
mostly focused on the city's issues, and only deals with the other
Nahiyas when they come to him with problems. The other Nahiyas -
al-Abarra, Buhriz, Kanaann, and Khan Bani Saad (KBS) -are not
represented on the QC, and the NCs or Mayors often go straight to
the Provincial Government, or even Baghdad, completely bypassing the
Qada Government.

6. (U) Each ministry has its own lines of authority and reporting
structures at the sub-provincial level. Some mirror the provincial
structure of: Province - Qada - Nahiya. Many lack Qada-level
representatives and go straight from the Provincial DG to
Nahiya-level Directors. Still others have created entirely unique
administrative units for their reporting structure. Baqubah Qada
poses exceptional complications, due to the de facto transfer of
many core ministry functions in Khan Bani Saad Nahiya to Baghdad
from Baqubah when Diyala's security situation hit a nadir in late
2006 and early-mid 2007.

7. (U) Below is a breakdown of the administrative structure of some
of the essential service directorates in Baqubah Qada:
A. Provincial DG - Qada Director - Local Manager
-- Water (Ministry of Municipalities)
-- Education (Ministry of Education) - though for Baqubah Qada, the
Provincial DG himself acts as the Qada Director
B. Provincial DG - Nahiya/Local Manager
-- Sewage (Ministry of Municipalities) - has ten offices across the
Province reporting directly to the Provincial DG. In Baqubah Qada,
these include Baqubah and Khan Bani Saad. The Provincial DG has
reportedly requested that the Ministry re-assign Khan Bani Saad to
-- Electricity (Ministry of Electricity) - several of the larger
local offices, including the city of Baqubah, have sub-offices.
-- Municipalities (Ministry of Municipalities) - in Baqubah Qada,
KBS has reportedly been re-assigned to Baghdad.
-- Health (Ministry of Health) - The nine hospital and 45 clinics
administrators each report to the Provincial DG. The Ministry of
Health is yet another ministry that has reportedly re-tasked KBS to

BAGHDAD 00004049 002 OF 003

Tribal/Sectarian Impediments to
Strong Qada Government

8. (SBU) The patchwork nature of tribal and sectarian populations
in Baqubah and across Diyala hinder the development of a Qada
leadership in Baqubah capable of managing the Qada as a governmental
entity. (Note: There are roughly 25 tribes and over 100 sub-tribes
in the province. Endnote) Baqubah's character as a predominantly
Sunni city has become more pronounced in recent years. Other parts
of the Qada, however, have a different sectarian composition.

9. (SBU) For example, Al-Abarra Nahiya, which covers much of the
Diyala River Valley north of the city of Baqubah, is a largely Shia
area, though it does contain some Sunni towns and villages.
Al-Abarra has strong ties to the Shia leadership in the Provincial
government. The Mayor of al-Abarra, Shakir Mazin al-Timimi, is the
nephew of Diyala Governor Raad al-Timimi, and the son of one of the
al-Timimi paramount Sheikhs in Diyala; the al-Abarra Council
Chairman is also the Governor's brother. Al-Abarra also includes
the town of Kharnabat, which is the hometown of the Provincial
Director of Police (MG Ghanem Abbas al-Quraeshy) - also a Shia.
Given these connections, the al-Abarra Nahiya rarely acts as a
subordinate structure to the Baqubah Qada.

10. (SBU) Khan Bani Saad, located between Baghdad Province and the
city of Baqubah, is another area where tribal/sectarian and security
concerns have caused a significant separation between the Nahiya and
Qada governments. In this case, however, the Nahiya has growing
ties to Baghdad, not the Diyala Provincial government. One example
is that several of the ministry offices in KBS have reportedly been
re-tasked from Diyala (Baqubah Qada) to Baghdad. One of the major
problems with this development is that KBS is roughly evenly divided
between Sunni and Shia, though the town of KBS is largely Shia. The
Baghdad solution works well for the Shia of KBS, as KBS borders on
Sadr City and provides easy access to Baghdad. This option is less
optimal for the Sunnis of KBS, as they are afraid to travel to
Baghdad, and are no longer resourced from Sunni-friendly Baqubah.

Qada and Local Governments Left
Organizationally Weak

11. (SBU) The cumulative effect of these various formal and
informal lines of authority - especially when combined with the lack
of clarity for provincial and sub-provincial authorities under
current Iraqi legislation - is to leave Baqubah Qada and Nahiya
governments with ill-defined roles. The Qada Mayor, who is in
theory the senior executive for the Qada, lacks direct authority
over those responsible for providing essential services in the Qada.
The Qada Mayor does not have a group of non-subordinate service
directors sharing Qada-wide responsibility with which to consult.
Neither the Qada Council nor the Qada Mayor controls a budget that
can be used to fund capital projects, or operations and maintenance.
Even the operations costs of the Qada Mayor's office itself are
handled by the Provincial Accounting Office. In short, the locally
elected and accountable Qada and Nahiya governments may be
responsible for "managing" services in their areas, but lack formal
control of the means for the provision of those services.

12. (SBU) Effective local government in Baqubah Qada depends on
informal relations and the personal authority and leadership skills
of the individual local government leaders; of lesser importance is
the authority of the office. The Baqubah Qada Mayor hosts a weekly
meeting with some of the service directors for the city of Baqubah.
However, this meeting only came about as a result of pressure from
Coalition Forces (CF). The CF and ePRT maintain a regular presence
at the meeting. The service directors provide the Mayor with
information and listen to his comments. They do not take orders or
taskings from him. This also explains why the dominant positions in
local government vary so greatly. In one place the Mayor may be the
most influential individual, while in another the Council Chairman
exerts more power.

Comment: Qada Government as
Information Manager

13. (U) The government of Baqubah Qada will not be able to direct
the provision and development of services in the Qada in the near
future. The varying independent lines of authority operating at the
sub-provincial level and the lack of clarity on current or future
Qada and local government powers hinder this development. Until a
Provincial Powers Act that clearly delineates roles and authorities
at the national and provincial level - and allows for the further
definition of sub-provincial administrative bodies - is adopted,

BAGHDAD 00004049 003 OF 003

capacity-building efforts at the sub-provincial level will be
limited to improving the capacity for information management, with
little overall effect on the actual provision of services.


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