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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BAGHDAD4364 2006-11-27 09:35:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

PRT NINEWA: SHIKHAN AND MAKHMUR DISTRICTS ALMOST

Tags:   PGOV PREL PINR IZ 
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VZCZCXRO8796
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4364/01 3310935
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 270935Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8204
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC//NSC// PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004364 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/26/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR IZ
SUBJECT: PRT NINEWA: SHIKHAN AND MAKHMUR DISTRICTS ALMOST
IN THE KRG

Classified By: Ninewa PRT Leader James Knight: 1.4
(B) and (D).

This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team
(PRT) message.

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



1. (C) The Mayor of Shikhan District of Ninewa
Province indicates the district would vote to join
Dahuk Province and thus the Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) in a referendum to resolve its
status as a 'disputed territory' if given the opportunity.
The Shikhan Mayor notes that the District is currently
supported logistically and financially by Dahuk province,
even though his district is within Ninewa province
boundaries. Three Sub-District Mayors of Makhmur
District also indicate that Makhmur would vote to
join Erbil Province of the KRG. Both districts were
previously within provinces that are now part of the KRG.



2. (SBU) The Shikhan Mayor noted that
internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the District
have increased over the last three months; there now
are more than 700 IDP families (about 4200
individuals) in Shikhan, many of which are Sunni
Arabs from Baghdad and Mosul. There are only about
25 IDP families in Makhmur (apart from residents at
the Makhmur UN refugee camp). End summary.



--------------------------


Shikhan wants to be back in Dahuk . . .


--------------------------





3. (C) PRT IPAO PRT Governance Chief
LCDR and other PRT representatives met Mayor
of Shikhan District Dr. Khari Na'amo 2 November in
Ayn Sifna village, Shikhan District. PRT
representatives were joined by 403d Civil Affairs
Battalion staff working in Shikhan. A Vice Chair of
Ninewa's Provincial Council, Ali Ameen, also joined
the meeting shortly after it began.



4. (C) Na'amo -- himself appointed by Kurdish
authorities in 2003 -- commented that Shikhan
district would vote to join the KRG's Dahuk Province
if given an opportunity to do so. Na'amo added
that he believes Ninewa's Sunni Arab majority
already views Shikhan as non-Arab, and Dahuk
Province supports Shikhan more than Ninewa Province.



5. (C) When asked what type of support the Province has
not provided, Na'amo cited lack of assistance from
Ninewa service Ministry Director Generals. In contrast,
Dahuk Province supplements the salary that Ninewa
provides for Shikhan's municipal workers by 150,000
Iraqi dinars (about USD 100-) per month, increasing
the total monthly pay of a Shikhan municipal worker
to 195,000 Iraqi dinars (about USD 130-). He also
indicated that computers and Internet services in
his office had been provided and installed by
Dahuk province.



--------------------------


. . . and Makhmur wants to be back in Erbil


--------------------------





6. (C) PRT IPAO, Governance Officer and other U.S. military
officers met
Makhmur District Mayor Abdul Barazanji and mayors of
Makhmur's three sub-districts in Makhmur village 9
November. When asked how they came to office, all
three noted that they were appointed by Kurdish
authorities in April 2003. Although the District
and Sub-Districts do not have councils established
by elections, they have informal, consensually-
appointed advisory councils.



7. (C) When pressed on the probable outcome of a
disputed territories referendum under Article 140 of
the revised Iraq Constitution, Barazanji declined to
comment. However, his three Sub-District Mayors
unanimously agreed that Makhmur would vote to join
Erbil Province, noting that Makhmur province has
historically been part of Erbil. The mayors
emphasized support provided by Erbil, in contrast to
lack of support from Ninewa. They concluded by
noting that the citizens of Makhmur prefer the

BAGHDAD 00004364 002.2 OF 002


prosperity of Erbil to the security challenges of
Ninewa. They also noted that Ninewa Provincial
reconstruction projects are now underway in their
Sub-Districts, but these efforts are the first of
their kind.



8. (C) Barzan Saidkak, Mayor of Qarach Sub-
District, observed that about half the potential
eligible voters in Makhmur district have Public
Distribution System (PDS) ration cards issued by
Erbil Province. When advised by PRT officials that
would make those individuals ineligible to vote, he
insisted that the IECI does not have a problem with
the situation and that it is difficult for people to
travel to Mosul to change their PDS location.



--------------------------


Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs)


--------------------------





9. (SBU) Shikhan Mayor Na'amo underscored a recent
increase in the number of IDP families in his
district. He speculates that the increase is due to
continuing security problems in Mosul. He indicated
that most of the more than 700 IDP families in al-
Shikhan district are Kurds, but that the number of
Christian families is increasing. Na'amo said that
most of the families have arrived from Mosul or
Baghdad.



10. (SBU) In Makhmur, each Sub-District mayor
appeared to know exactly how many IDPs lived in
their areas. Quer Sub-District Mayor Omer reported
15 new Sunni Arab families from Mosul arrived since
July 2005. The other two Sub-District Mayors
reported less than five families. Barazanji noted
that very few IDP families come to Makhmur; he said
that IDPs prefer to settle in Erbil Province if they
are fleeing Mosul or Baghdad.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





11. (C) Judging from Na'amo's comments, the fact
that he is a Kurd-appointed mayor, and the large
number of Kurdish flags and Peshmerga Kurdish
militia visible in Ayn Sifna, it seems very likely
that Shikhan will indeed vote to leave Ninewa
province and join Dahuk province. Ayn Sifna shares
much of the sense of security and successful
economic recovery characteristic of the KRG.



12. (C) While Makhmur was less KRG-like, it, too,
will likely vote to join Erbil province and enter
the KRG. Makhmur was historically in Erbil
province, also has a KRG appointed mayor, and the
majority appears to support joining Erbil province.



13. (C) In a recent discussion with PRT Team Leader, Ninewa
Vice Governor Khasro Goran (also KDP
chief for Ninewa) pointed out rather defensively
that officials in these districts were appointed in
a joint decision with MND-N Commander MG Petraeus in
2003, as Peshmerga joined Coalition forces to secure
northern Iraq. This continued anomaly enjoys tacit
support from the Kurd-dominated Ninewa provincial
government suggesting that the provincial government
does not object to KRG initiatives because they
support reintegration these districts into Kurdistan.



--------------------------


Bio Note


--------------------------





14. (C) Dr. Khari Na'amo is a dermatologist who was
a Peshmerga physician for more than 13 years prior
to his KRG appointment as mayor of Shikhan. He
spent six years at the University of Mosul obtaining
his degrees, and recently returned from trips to
Germany and Sweden. He has also spent time in Iran.
Na'amo is Yezidi, but prefers to be addressed in
Sorani Kurdish, indicating his possible links to the
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), though both his
Arabic and English are excellent.
KHALILZAD