News: Diyala provincial governor visits Muqdadiyah officials
MUQDADIYAH, Iraq – Diyala Provincial Governor Ra'ad Rasheed Hameed Al Mullah visited local representatives of qa'da (county) governments located in and around Muqdadiyah at Forward Operating Base Normandy, Iraq, Jan. 14.
The intent was to bring the director generals or the technocrats of all the key essential services including water, electricity, health, education, municipalities and oil here to link them up with their counterparts at the qa'da level, said the Reconciliations Engagement Officer Maj. Nicholas Difiore of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, from Fort Lewis, Wash.
The meeting allowed the leaders to explain what their needs are from the qa'da level to the provincial level.
Due to the dangerous nature of the northern Diyala River Valley, meetings such as this have not taken place for several years. Operation Raider Harvest, is currently clearing the region of al-Qaida influence, has provided stability to the area allowing local leaders to meet face-to-face.
Other attending representatives were Diyala Operations Command Commander Staff Maj. Gen. Ab-Dal-Karim, Assistant Deputy to Diyala Government Council Sheik Zary Al-Fayaz and Muqdadiyah Mayor Najem Abdulah Ahmed.
"So far we have received no support from the provincial government out here in Muqdadiyah," said the Muqdadiyah mayor through a translator. "Hopefully through meetings like the one held today we can improve the situation and more support will come our way in the future."
During Operation Raider Harvest, coalition forces are providing security and rebuilding services for the northern DRV. The meeting was aimed at transferring that responsibility to the Diyala provincial government.
"Most of my support comes from coalition forces whether it is morale, finance or military," Ahmed said. "Coalition Forces continually support us with reconstruction efforts and programs throughout the qa'da."
"What the province has offered in the past has been very little in terms of support," Ahmed said, "but our hopes over the next few months are that this will change, we will integrate more into the province and we will gain more support from the provincial government."
"This is one of those places where there is a break in the basic government, the linkage between qa'da and province, due to the security situation," said Difiore. "Now after we have done many of these decisive operations like Raider Harvest, the security situation is improving. The technocrats feel much more comfortable traveling these roads and now we can see that linkage between province and qa'da strengthening."
More meetings of the Diyala provincial government and Northern Diyala River Valley Khada governments are in the works.
Date Posted:01.15.2008 07:30
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