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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07BAGHDAD2476 2007-07-26 10:22:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

NINEWA GOVERNOR TELLS AMBASSADOR HE EXPECTS

Tags:   PGOV PBTS PINR PREL KJUS MOPS IZ 
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VZCZCXRO2937
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2476/01 2071022
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261022Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2456
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002476 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2017
TAGS: PGOV PBTS PINR PREL KJUS MOPS IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA GOVERNOR TELLS AMBASSADOR HE EXPECTS
DELAYED ELECTIONS BUT ARTICLE 140 IN 2007

REF: A. BAGHDAD 2297

B. BAGHDAD 0559

C. BAGHDAD 1171

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

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SUMMARY
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1. (C) In a July 18 meeting with the Ambassador, the Ninewa
Governor agreed that the security situation in Ninewa
province is good and that security could be transferred to
Provincial Iraqi Control soon, provided the Iraqi Police's
key equipment needs are met. The Governor said he did not
believe that provincial elections are feasible this year, but
told the Ambassador that he remains committed to seeing the
Article 140 process completed by the year's close. Noting a
specific lack of Ministerial support, the Governor also
requested the Ambassador's assistance in working with the
central government. END SUMMARY.



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NINEWA SECURITY PERMITS PROVINCIAL IRAQI CONTROL


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

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2. (C) Accompanied by Ambassadors Ford and Clarke, Ms.
O'Sullivan, Team Leader Knight, BG Wiercinski, and incoming
Team Leader Hyland, the Ambassador discussed Ninewa's
security, politics, and future at length with Governor
Kashmoula and Police Chief MG Wathiq in the Governor's
offices 18 July. Although he has opposed Provincial Iraqi
Control (PIC) in the past, Governor Kashmoula agreed with the
Ambassador that security in Ninewa is good, and Kashmoula
said that if provided the "tools for success," Ninewa could
transfer to PIC soon. Kashmoula cited heavy weaponry,
armored vehicles, and explosive detection equipment as key
Iraqi Police needs that must be addressed before moving to
PIC.



3. (C) Kashmoula emphasized that corruption is Ninewa's
primary problem - not security - using Provincial Council
Chair Issa's arrest (reftel A) as an example. The Governor
noted that while security continued to improve, corruption is
an even more insidious problem. Pledging his support to
eliminate corruption in Ninewa, Kashmoula also emphasized to
the Ambassador the importance of avoiding sectarian and
ethnic strife.



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MINISTERIAL SUPPORT COMPLETELY ABSENT


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





4. (C) Alluding to ongoing problems with Ministerial
support, the Governor told the Ambassador that only Prime
Minister Maliki has truly supported Ninewa. However,
Kashmoula lamented that the Prime Minister has "made many
promises, but his hands and feet are tied." Responding to
the Ambassador's queries about specific issues at the
Ministerial level, Kashmoula described how provincial
education officials sought his assistance to hire additional
teachers only to be rebuffed by the Ministry of Education.
Kashmoula also noted the Ministry of Interior's lack of
support - specifically regarding the care of wounded police
officers, personnel issues, and retirement benefits
(including for Police Chief MG Wathiq). While unclear on
whether questionable Ministerial support was a provincial or
national issue, Kashmoula allowed that his upcoming visit to
Baghdad would enable him to address these issues directly.



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PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS WILL NOT HAPPEN IN 2007


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





5. (C) When asked by the Ambassador about the possibility of
provincial elections this year, the Governor said that
although he "wishes that elections were today, elections will
not happen by the end of the year." Dismissing staggered
provincial elections as infeasible due to voter fraud and
logistical constraints, Kashmoula said that national
elections were unlikely given Baghdad's current security
situation. He added that the Iraqi Higher Electoral
Commission did not seem currently capable of undertaking
national provincial elections.



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COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES PART OF THE PROBLEM


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BAGHDAD 00002476 002 OF 002




6. (C) Kashmoula stated that he had not seen a copy of the
latest draft of the Provincial Powers Law under discussion by
the Council of Representatives (CoR). Nonetheless, the
Governor pointed out that positive developments at the CoR
would be very beneficial to Ninewa, especially if the
Provincial Powers Law were passed this month. The Governor
said that the CoR is the root of Iraq's problems, pointing to
continued discord in the CoR. The Governor complained that
attempts at national reconciliation are misplaced, as
reconciliation cannot be achieved with "those who kill women
and children and boobytrap their bodies."



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



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


FEDERALIZATION AND REGIONS WILL KEEP IRAQ TOGETHER


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



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





7. (C) Obliquely answering the Ambassador's queries about
Article 140, the Governor promoted federalization with
multiple administrative regions as the solution to Iraqi
security challenges. Using the hypothetical example of a
coup in Baghdad, Kashmoula noted that regional security
forces would be obliged and capable of preventing
governmental collapse. The Governor continued by comparing
United Arab Emirates' success as separate emirates under
central control with future regions under central Iraqi
control. Kashmoula explicitly noted that "federalism is not
dividing; it is the only way forward".



8. (C) When pressed by the Ambassador for his specific
opinion on the status of Article 140, Kashmoula declined to
cite any reasons why the referendum could not occur by the
end of the year. He said that even as a Sunni Arab man from
an Arab family, he believes that the Article 140 process
should not be postponed. The Governor questioned why Iraqis
who suffered under Saddam's Arabization program should wait
for reparation, adding that "the Arabization problem should
be solved, and today is better than tomorrow."



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COMMENT


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9. (C) Unconcerned by the continuing vagaries of the Article
140 process, Kashmoula continues to wholeheartedly support
the Kurdish agenda (reftel B). Despite recent
unpredictability, the Governor appeared to be in good health
for the Ambassador's visit (reftel C); several interlocutors
commented that he was the most focused he has ever been in
their presence. The Governor's refusal to consider even
staggered provincial elections despite past efforts to
abandon his position indicates an unchanging commitment to
Kurdish political aims. The Ambassador's visit provided a
valuable opportunity to reinforce to the Governor the
importance of an early transfer to Provincial Iraqi Control,
as well as working toward transparent, fair provincial
elections and constitutionally mandated referenda. END
COMMENT.

CROCKER