|Wikileaks:||View 06MOSUL7 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ MARR PINT Christian Minority|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSUL 000007 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/3/2016 TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, MARR, PINT, Christian Minority SUBJECT: NINEWA VICE GOVERNOR REQUESTS MORE AUTHORITY FOR PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS REF: MOSUL 005 CLASSIFIED BY: H. Carl Gettinger, Team Leader, Provincial Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) ------- SUMMARY ------- 1. (C) PRT TL and REO Poloff met with Vice Governor Khessro Goran and KDP headquarters in Mosul in February 1. Goran believes the new federal government should "give more authority" to provincial governments to help address the needs of the people. Goran spoke at some length about an increase in criminal activity in Mosul and surrounding villages, such as kidnappings and extortions. These, he said, are believed to be mainly against Christians and Kurds. He claims the perpetrators of these crimes are "former Baathists," who are not content with their victories after the December national election. Goran claims such persons desire to "move [non-Sunni Arabs] out of the province." Goran also said Coalition Forces should allow the Iraqi Army (IA) "more flexibility" to respond to intelligence information and install more checkpoints within Mosul. Goran also called for resolution to Article 58 of the constitution to finally decide border disputes for cities along Iraqi Kurdistan and other provinces. End Summary. -------------------------- CRIME ON THE RISE IN MOSUL -------------------------- 2. (C) Goran welcomed TL to his office where the conversation quickly turned to security issues in the province, especially regarding an increase in kidnappings and extortions. TL asked if Goran believed criminals were taking advantage of terrorism and insurgent activity to conduct their operations. Goran sees a recent spike in crime as being perpetrated mostly by Sunni Arabs against Christians and Kurds. He believes the Sunnis, not content with their strong performance during the national election, are now trying to "push" minorities and Kurds "out of Ninewa" to control the province. And that the real culprits behind the crimes are "former Baathists" who cannot get over "not being in power." 3. (C) Goran handed TL several letters as evidence of threats against Kurds (reftel). He spoke of recent extortion attempts and kidnappings against citizens and businessmen in Mosul. Goran claims a number of KDP employees in Mosul had been murdered, "just for being Kurds." He said that since the December national election, 600 Kurd families have fled to neighboring Erbil and Dohuk provinces, Christians are leaving the country, and Shias have fled such areas as Tal Afar for southern Iraq. Goran said there are many good Sunnis who could help but they are "afraid to speak out" against terrorism and crime for fear of attack. --------------------- SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS --------------------- 4. (C) Goran said there should be more Iraqi Army (IA) checkpoints in Mosul. He claims five to six checkpoints in "hot" locations in the city, such as the industrial and mosque areas, would be a good start. He believes more troop presence on the streets will make the citizens more comfortable. However, Goran claims Coalition Forces (CF) has turned down requests by the provincial government, IA and Iraqi Police (IP), since CF leaders "do not like the idea" of having IA checkpoints in the city. Goran said the IA is "limited by [CF]" in other areas as well. He claims CF does not permit the IA "sufficient space to do their job." Goran said CF should allow "more flexibility" for IA to respond immediately to intelligence information. He said sometimes CF "take too long to prepare," and by the time the soldiers arrive to a location the "information has passed." 5. (C) TL asked why Goran believes the IA and not IP should man such checkpoints, to which Goran replied, "Not all police are good." He believes IA should operate checkpoints since they are "better organized and trained," and have experience with similar checkpoints in Erbil and Dohuk. Goran said for many reasons people still do not trust the IP, and as a result are not sharing information with them. He claims some officers are "working with terrorists," and that there have been reports from citizens of IP cars rolling around town shouting, "Long live Saddam [Hussein]" over their loud speakers. He said, however, the Provincial Chief of Police (Wathiq Al Qadir), for all of his good work, has not been able to control such officers. Goran believes these trouble-causing IP were hired by the former PCOP, Ahmed Mohammed Al Juburi. ---------------------------- SOLUTIONS TO THE CITY'S WOES ---------------------------- 6. (C) TL said although there have been many improvements in Mosul over the past year, he asked Goran what solutions the provincial government has to address lingering problems with security, the economy, and a lack of basic services. Goran replied that any key to improving conditions in Ninewa centered on how strong the new central government would be, since only they could grant the governates more authority to address issues. Goran believes success also depends on how well the central government improves the economy, by providing jobs, housing, and services such as electricity and water. Clearly frustrated, Goran said so far all that has happened is that the provincial government has "talked and not done" for the people of Ninewa. He claims the provincial government has gone several times to former and current Iraqi administrations for assistance, from Allawi to Jafari, but has "received no response." 7. (C) Goran said further complicating governance issues nationwide is how Article 58 of the constitution would be implemented. He claims solving this issue would resolve many provincial border disputes in the country, especially in Ninewa. Goran claims areas, such as Makhmour, Shekhan, and Faydah, which "originally belonged to Kurdistan" but were "moved by Saddam Hussein" should be decided with whom they belong. He said these areas have been "neglected" since provincial governments have limited resources and do not know "who belongs where." ------- COMMENT ------- 8. (C) We can glean several things from Goran's comments and his obviously elevated level of frustration. Tensions between the Sunni Arabs and the Kurds are rising. Kurdish efforts to broaden and fortify their positions in northern and eastern Ninewa are encountering difficulties as the Sunnis (especially, but not exclusively) push back. To have Kurds leaving the area from fear of attack runs directly counter to Kurdish designs on the zone. Frustration is mounting among Kurdish leaders because they are unable to utilize the military power they have (subsumed though it may be under the Iraqi national banner) to defend their interest and must depend on what they see as a weak police force that is inherently unsympathetic to the Kurds. For the moment, the Kurds are pushing back with a sort of charm offensive. Goran mentioned (KRG) President Barzani's meeting the Arab sheikhs from Mosul at the beginning of the year in Erbil where Barzani called for brotherhood and understanding. Goran said more than once that the Kurds cannot go after Arabs in retribution for the crimes committed against them. But underlying this there appeared to be the message that there is a limit to Kurds' willingness to turn the other cheek. As Captain Renaud pointed out to Major Strasser, "We are trying to cooperate with you, major, but we cannot control the feelings of our people." GETTINGER
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