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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BAGHDAD2529
2005-06-15 14:47:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

KURDISH IDP ENCLAVE IN NINEWA SLOWLY RECOVERING

Tags:   PREL  PHUM  PREF  PGOV  PTER  PINS  IZ  KRG  KDP 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002529 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2025
TAGS: PREL PHUM PREF PGOV PTER PINS IZ KRG KDP
SUBJECT: KURDISH IDP ENCLAVE IN NINEWA SLOWLY RECOVERING
FROM SADDAM-ERA ARABIZATION


Classified By: Acting Regional Coordinator Clarence
Hudson. Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

-------
Summary
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002529

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2025
TAGS: PREL PHUM PREF PGOV PTER PINS IZ KRG KDP
SUBJECT: KURDISH IDP ENCLAVE IN NINEWA SLOWLY RECOVERING
FROM SADDAM-ERA ARABIZATION


Classified By: Acting Regional Coordinator Clarence
Hudson. Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

--------------
Summary
--------------


1. (C) The Kurdish Yezidi settlement of Mahut in
northeast Ninewa, 30 years ago a site of forced re-
settlement of Kurds, is today a large village center
struggling with the same infrastructure issues as most
other Ninewa communities, based on a visit to Mahut on
June 13. Kurds largely re-occupied nine smaller
villages surrounding Mahut just after the fall of the
former regime, living in houses constructed by Arabs
during their 30-year occupation. Despite Mahut being
part of Ninewa, residents fly the flag of Kurdistan
and the KDP is building roads with KRG funding. End
Summary.


2. (U) Elements of the 448th Civil Affairs Battalion
of Task Force Freedom visited the village center of
Mahut, located about 23 miles northeast of Mosul in
Ninewa Province, accompanied by Regional Embassy
Office Mosul Poloff, on June 13. The group also
visited a nearby farming village of Mamrashan.

--------------
Mahut Village Center Home To Displaced Kurds
--------------


3. (U) Village leaders in Mahut said the Yezidi town
grew exponentially in 1975 when, after the Algerian
Agreement with Iran, Saddam Hussein forcibly removed
them from nine nearby villages, giving their houses
and property to Arab settlers. Mahut was surrounded
by Arabs and served as a makeshift detention center
for the Yezidis, whose Kurdish roots but non-Islamic
religion often draws persecution from other people
groups in northern Iraq. Mahut's 15,000 residents
today keep their smaller village identification,
reportedly grouping close together in the town's
cinderblock sprawl. Mahut shows the same development
problems observed in other towns populated by Yezidis.
Unemployment is at 75 percent and electricity is
limited to a few hours a day, the leaders said.
Unhealthy living conditions persist: raw sewage runs
in the streets -- causing frequent cases of typhoid.

--------------
Kurds Have Returned to Outlying Villages
--------------


4. (U) Village leaders said that many residents
returned to their former villages in the immediate
aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A stop at the
nearby village of Mamrashan confirmed this, with
Yezidi leaders pointing out that most construction in
the village of mud huts was the work of Arabs -- only
one house, the house of the village chief, was of
Yezidi construction. Arab occupiers reportedly
destroyed the Yezidi temple that once overlooked the
village. The village chief said Arabs abandoned the
village when the former regime fell. Village leaders
said they had returned to growing wheat on their land,
though they complained that some Arabs had built large
homes on their property. None of the villagers we met
had spoken with the government about getting
compensation for lost property nor had made claims to
the Iraq Property Claims Commission (IPCC). Leaders
in Mahut said more people would return to their
original villages if housing were available.

--------------
KDP Planting the Flag, With KRG Money
--------------


5. (C) Houses in Mahut and Mamrashan flew the flags
of the KDP and of Kurdistan. Village leaders
unanimously gave thumbs-up when asked if they
supported the KDP. The KDP chief for Mahut was the
principal interlocutor for the villagers. He said
that a new road being constructed down Mahut's main
drag was being built by the KDP, paid for with funds
from Dahok Province in Kurdistan. The doctor in
Mahut's sole medical clinic said he received half of
his support from Dahok Province despite being locate
in Ninewa.

--------------
Comment
--------------

6. (C) Thirty years after the upheaval caused by
Arabization, Mahut has clear developmental problems
like most of the Yezidi settlements in northeastern
Ninewa. Probably, the return of some villagers to
their ancestral homes softened some social pressures.
Housing shortages for returnees seemed to be a
recurring theme. The area is a bastion of support for
the KDP, which seems intent on acting as a de facto
government and exerting its influence on the
northeastern part of Ninewa.


7. (U) Basrah and Kirkuk, minimize considered.


Jeffrey