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WikiLeaks: 2008-03-06: 08BAGHDAD663: PRT Ninewa: Rain and Jobs - Not Security - Are First on the Minds of Christians in the Ninewa Plain

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD663: March 06, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 11:47 AM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD663, PRT NINEWA: RAIN AND JOBS - NOT SECURITY - ARE

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD663 2008-03-06 13:49 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXYZ5901
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #0663/01 0661349
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 061349Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6083
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 000663 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2018 
TAGS: ECON EINV EAGR PGOV PINR IZ
SUBJECT: PRT NINEWA: RAIN AND JOBS - NOT SECURITY - ARE 
FIRST ON THE MINDS OF CHRISTIANS IN THE NINEWA PLAIN 
 
Classified By: PRT Ninewa Team Leader Jason Hyland for reasons 1.4 (b) 
and (dQ 
 
1. (U) This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) 
message. 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
2. (C/REL ACGU) Even as the 29 February kidnapping of 
Chaldean Christian Archbishop Faraj Rahu from a neighborhood 
in east Mosul remains unresolved, community leaders and 
municipal officials in the outlying Tel Keif and Al Hamdaniya 
districts to the north and east of Mosul - where the majority 
of the province's Christians live - report that security is 
not their prime concern.  Instead, leaders and officials in 
the area traditionally known as the Ninewa Plain are focused 
on essential service delivery, unemployment and the negative 
effects of this year's drought.  End Summary. 
 
Worries about Agriculture Dominate 
---------------------------------- 
 
3. (C/REL ACGU) Al Hamdaniya Mayor Nisan Karroumi Yousif said 
during a late February visit to his new offices in district 
capital Qara Qosh that his area has a relatively stable 
security situation but faces severe constraints on 
agricultural production from a lack of rain and little 
irrigation.  Farmers and community leaders in the Al 
Hamdaniya town of Bartalla and the Tel Keif town of Al Qosh 
echoed the specific complaint that the lack of rain is 
forcing farmers who cannot grow fodder to reduce their 
livestock herds.  (NOTE: In a separate, late-February 
meeting, the Provincial Council and the provincial Director 
General of Agriculture discussed a plan to provide struggling 
livestock owners with an emergency infusion of fodder. END 
NOTE)  In addition, farmers throughout the Ninewa Plain said 
they face unfair competition from cheap food imports, 
prohibitively expensive farm inputs like fuel and seed, a 
lack of meat and vegetable processing facilities, and 
severely reduced opportunities for agricultural credit. 
While the agricultural sector suffers, Mayor Nisan said his 
district's relative security facilitates merchant activity by 
importers based in the Kurdish Regional Government.  Compared 
to Mosul and some western and southern parts of Ninewa, the 
majority of Al Hamdaniya and Tel Keif districts is behind the 
"Green Line" of Kurdish control, where security and 
commercial product availability are better. 
 
Unemployment, Especially for IDPs, also a Concern 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
4. (C/REL ACGU) Leaders across the Ninewa Plain said 
sectarian rivalries are secondary to residents' far more 
pressing need to find jobs.  Mayor Nisan said the Christian 
community in Qara Qosh hosts more than 3,000 internally 
displaced families, most of whom are Christians from Baghdad 
and Basra.  Leaders in the towns of Bartalla and Al Qosh said 
their villages are also hosting internally displaced 
families.  None of the leaders or officials said resettlement 
or the security of these families is their top priority; 
rather, they told PRToffs they are interested in jobs and 
economic opportunities.  In Al Hamdaniya alone, the mayor 
said there are 3,000 unemployed university graduates. 
 
Services, Assistance Requested from Province 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C/REL ACGU) Mayor Misan said he participated in some of 
the 2008 budget planning meetings, stressing the importance 
of providing municipal services like electricity, street 
cleaning, tree planting education and road repair.  He said 
the town receives six hours of electricity per day at best, 
with some days as little as two hours.  Municipal trash 
collectors have only one percent of the budget they need for 
salaries and less than half of the equipment required to do 
their jobs properly. 
 
Biographical Information 
------------------------ 
 
6. (C/REL ACGU) Mayor Nisan is a lawyer who worked for an 
insurance company in Mosul until 2003, when he returned to 
the town of Qara Qosh to work as the Al Hamdaniya district 
mayor.  He has a degree from Baghdad University.  He is a 
Christian with four children (three girls and one boy).  He 
said his career aspiration was initially to be a judge, but 
that now he is too old.  He speaks Arabic and basic English. 
 
Comment 
 
------- 
 
7. (C/REL ACGU) Like rural residents across Ninewa, farmers 
in the province's eastern and northern districts suffer from 
a lack of rain, expensive farm inputs, and little access to 
credit.  Faced with an influx of internally displaced persons 
and weak government service delivery, this inability of the 
traditional farm sector to support rural residents hinders 
economic growth.  However, this Ninewa Plain area where many 
Christians and other minorities live has relatively better 
security - and, therefore, economic potential - than much of 
the southern and western parts of the province.  The PRT is 
working closely with associations and investors in these more 
permissive eastern and northern areas to capitalize on local 
business and job creation opportunities, particularly in 
agriculture. End Comment. 
CROCKER

 



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