Iraqi security forces in Anbar launch campaign to train mukhtars

Local leaders will be trained to support the security effort in Anbar province. Above, Iraqis sit under a tent during a meeting in Diyala province. [Damir Sagolj/Reuters]

Local leaders will be trained to support the security effort in Anbar province. Above, Iraqis sit under a tent during a meeting in Diyala province. [Damir Sagolj/Reuters]

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Iraqi security forces launched last week a major training campaign for mukhtars in various areas of Anbar province.

The campaign aims to reinforce the security effort in the province and strengthen relations between government forces and citizens in order to enhance stability and combat terrorism, officials said.

The mukhtar is considered a link between the local government and citizens. For decades, the neighborhood mukhtar had the task of providing documents showing the place of residence and good conduct of the citizens in the area for which he was responsible. Citizens needed these documents to complete tasks with government departments, such as marriage, real estate, and sales contracts.

Army and police commands have begun a training and development project to carry out the campaign, Brig. Gen. Hamoud al-Dulaimi of Anbar police command told Mawtani.

The project, which lasts two months, will be implemented in stages, he said. The most important stage involves determining the number of mukhtars to train across the districts and sub-districts of Anbar and selecting them based on guidelines and recommendations by the tribes and residents, al-Dulaimi said.

"Mass rallies, seminars and conferences will be held for the residents of Anbar to define the role of the mukhtars, their duties and rights, and how they can help in following up on suspicious movements in cases where there are gunmen disguised as a family in a rented house or if there are strangers living in a residential quarter," he said.

Citizens and district mukhtars will be trained to inform the authorities on such suspicious movements, al-Dulaimi said.

'First of its kind'

The project has been launched with extensive support from the local Anbar government, Lt. Col. Saeed al-Muhammadi of Anbar operations command told Mawtani.

This support is "the first of its kind, with high importance in enhancing the security effort, stability and the fight against terror and crime of all types", he said.

Al-Muhammadi said the project also includes improving the expertise of mukhtars in areas and residential neighbourhoods across Anbar and providing them with everything required to ensure the surveillance of suspicious activity.

"Specialised committees from the army and police commands, in collaboration with professors and experts in law, have started a series of lectures and seminars at schools, colleges and tribal gatherings to discuss the importance of having everyone cooperate with the Iraqi forces, the mukhtars and local authorities to fight the epidemic of terrorism," he said.

"All forces have been instructed to ensure the presence of the mukhtar of a district or a neighbourhood in any part of Anbar during search raids or official arrests against those wanted by the law, or suspects," al-Muhammadi said.

Eliminating 'terror and its sick ideology'

Ramadi native Mukhtar Fadhil Jabara, 42, who is taking part in the campaign, said the initiative is "important".

"Implementing such a project at this high level of attention and precision will ensure security and stability for the mukhtars of Anbar and the residents and expand the areas of cooperation between security personnel, the mukhtars and citizens to eliminate terror and its sick ideology," he said.

"We were trained in modern methods of uncovering forged identifications and documents and ways to follow up on neighbourhood residents in line with security guidelines and instructions, such as entering each family into a register carrying the name of the family, the number of its members, and data of interest to the individual and to government bodies in carrying out the population census, for instance," Jabara said.

Mukhtar Yahya Kareem, 40, who is from Fallujah, said that although he had received training from his father, a former mukhtar, the new campaign gave him the chance to get familiar with new modern methods to carry out his duties as mukhtar of the Mualemeen neighbourhood in the city.

"What is being given to us in this project is important and considerable because it keeps pace with the age of development," he said.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    جمعه حسن علي

    2012-4-20

    I think that if we are able to bypass our political differences in Iraq, our country will really become a model for all the countries in the region without exception. The new Iraq experiment is a success, and the Iraqi future will be a peaceful one for all the Iraqis, Allah willing. However, the political differences between the various blocs that come to the surface are what is holding back Iraq’s progress, and causing delays in many of the projects that will secure a brighter future for Iraq and its people, which we are all looking forward to. As such, I believe that all the politicians and their blocs should put aside their differences, and everyone should work for the interest of Iraq and its future. Today, the Iraqi people are keeping a watchful eye, and they are witnessing with pain the differences and conflicts that Iraq is going through. After the successes that were achieved in Iraq in terms of security, we hope that everyone will sit together and engage in dialogue in order to bypass all the differences and think about the future of Iraq and this people that have suffered for decades because of a system of dictatorship that collapsed in the year 2003, and they have suffered from the system and ways of terrorism during the past years. Through mutual understanding and communication, and by everybody putting Iraq first, we will be able to make it through this stage and we will secure a future for our country. Let us make our sense of belonging to Iraq the greatest of all senses of belonging. I have great hope in the politicians and their patriotism, and I pray that Allah will make us all good people so that we can reach the stage of total peace, Allah willing. In spite of all that we see in terms of some of the internal problems, the future of Iraq will be fine, and we will witness the kind of stability that will turn Iraqi into an advanced country, and make everyone look at us with admiration.

  • ناصر صادق

    2012-4-17

    The situation in Iraq no longer satisfies anyone: the Iraqi citizen is suffering from poor public facilities and services; it is not enough for the citizen to face the difficulties of life and search for his next meal so that he could live, he even suffers from lack of access to even a part of his rights as a natural human being, and the officials do not care about the interests and the concerns of the citizens. However, he no longer has any decent services. The problem of electricity, for example, the Iraqis suffer a lot from it and the officials have not yet found a solution for it until now and the citizen remains without electricity. As for the services of water and sewage, water is needed by humans on a daily basis. The Iraqi citizen is suffering from the lack of water supplies there, but there are people there who do not have water supply except through purchasing it or bringing it from distant places. Even if there is water, you find it not treated for human consumption, while the sanitation, although Iraq has had a giant network of sewage since the era of the former President Saddam Hussein, but since the war of Iraq, it has been damaged because of the absence of the required maintenance of it. Thus, it has become obsolete and needs maintenance and renewal of some networks to become ready for use. As for the problem of the roads in Iraq, they are suffering from a very bad situation. They are either unpaved or broken, and therefore, the citizen faces difficulty and harm. He may come with his own means of transportation that has been damaged and needs excessive maintenance due to the ill-paved road. In terms of security, you find that the Iraqi citizen suffers almost daily from terrorist attacks taking place and the lack of security. The security problem has heavily impacted international trade. In terms of the provision of basic goods the citizen suffers from their scarcity and high costs. There are also the problems of education that does not keep pace with the development of the world, and the problems of unemployment, which the officials did not find a solution for, and trade, industry and agriculture, those problems need a quick solution; where are the officials for all these problems? The government needs to be restructured, every official who cannot perform his duty, it is better for him to leave the stage for somebody who can do it if he cares about the interest of this country. Otherwise, the citizen will become the only one to pay the price, no matter for how long.