This week’s headlines:
- Iraqi Parliament Elects Barham Salih as the New President of Iraq, Salih Designates Adel Abdul Mahdi as Next Iraqi Prime Minister – Amid tensions between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), on October 2, the Iraqi Parliament elected Barham Salih, PUK candidate, as the new President of Iraq. The election happened after the KDP withdrew its candidate, Fuad Hussain. The KDP accused the PUK of going against an agreement between the two parties to jointly nominate a candidate for the position of President of Iraq. On October 2, newly elected President of Iraq, Barham Salih, named Adel Abdul Mahdi as Prime Minister designate and gave him the task of forming a new government within 30 days. If Mahdi is successful, it will be the first time since 2005 that Iraq’s Dawa party has not held the premiership. On October 3, Fuad Masum officially stepped aside as President of Iraq. On October 4, Nada Shaker Jodat, spokesman for the Victory Alliance led by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, stated that Abadi would support Adel Abdul Mahdi as the next Prime Minister of Iraq. To further underscore Iraq’s peaceful transition of power, on October 4, Iraqi President Barham Salih held a meeting with Prime Minister designate Adel Abdul Mahdi and outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. more…
- KRG Holds Parliamentary Elections, PUK Threatens to Reject Election Results Due to Alleged Violations – On September 30, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) held parliamentary elections for a new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Alsumaria News reported that approximately 58 percent of eligible voters in the KRI turned out to vote. Later that day, a spokesperson with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced that it may reject the election results due to concerns of violations in “several provinces”, but the statement was later retracted. On October 1, PUK spokesman Ghyath Surja renewed his party’s allegations of election “violations” and criticized the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC), the agency responsible for running elections in the KRI, for its handling of the elections, claiming that requirements for determining voter eligibility at voting stations discouraged turnout. On October 4, IHERC released preliminary election results. With 85% of the ballots counted so far, the KDP has 595,592 votes and the PUK has 287,575 votes, while the Gorran Movement has 164,336. The next top vote-getters were the New Generation with 113,297 votes, the Islamic Group (Komal) with 94,992, and the Reform Coalition with 69,477. The Sardam Coalition gained 13,708 votes, the Azadi (Communist party) won 7,069 votes, the Coalition for Democracy and Justice won 6,686 votes, and the Kurdistan Conservative Party 3,028 votes. more…
- U.S. Temporarily Closes Consulate in Basra, Iran Denies Responsibility for Increasing Hostility Towards U.S. Presence – On September 28, Shafaaq News reported that rockets were fired in the proximity of the U.S. Consulate in Basra. On September 28, following an announcement by U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of all U.S. personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Basra. On September 30, the U.S. announced it would close its consulate in the city of Basra citing concerns about threats Iran posed in the area. On September 30, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, denied Iran’s involvement in increasing threats against U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq, particularly in the city of Basra. more…
- The United States, European Union, and Republic of Korea Offer Support to Iraq’s Relief Efforts, Kubis Expresses Concern Over Gender Inequality in Iraq – On September 27, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Doug Silliman announced the steps the U.S. will take in supporting efforts to provide relief to Iraqi citizens living in Basra Province. On September 30, a report stated that the European Union’s (EU) contributed 3 million to Iraq to provide vulnerable children with lifesaving assistance, safe drinking water, health services, quality education, and psychosocial support to alleviate toxic stress from prolonged exposure to violence. On October 1, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released a report titled “Iraq: Restoration of agriculture and irrigation water systems sub-programme (2018–2020).” On October 3, U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) announced that the Republic of Korea contributed USD 1.5 million to its mission, allowing the WFP to provide cash assistance to 68,000 IDPs, through electronic cash cards and mobile money transfers. On October 3, Jan Kubis, U.N. Special Representative to Iraq, expressed concern for gender inequality in Iraq, which continues to prevail. Kubis also condemned recent attacks on women and said that “only once politically and socially active women are protected and safe, Iraq can claim to be making real progress towards women’s equality and empowerment.” more…
For more background on most of the institutions, key actors, political parties, and locations mentioned in our takeaways or in the stories that follow, see the ISHM Reference Guide.
On September 28, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi met with Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Iraq, Abdul Aziz al-Shammari. According to Halbousi’s office, Shammari extended Saudia Arabia’s commitment to Iraq and helping to promote stability and fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Halbousi ensured, “Iraq is keen to establish the best relations with its brothers and neighbors according to the basis of common interests and respect for mutual sovereignty and refused to interfere in the affairs of other countries or Iraq to be a battlefield for different agendas.”
On September 29, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi visited the city of Mosul in Ninewa Province. An anonymous source told Alsumaria News, “The governor of [Ninewa] and the President of the provincial council and deputies for the province of [Ninewa] received the Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and his accompanying delegation at Erbil airport.” This meeting comes after several other trips Halbousi has taken since he assumed the position of the Speaker of Parliament on September 15, 2018. He has also visited the provinces of Erbil, Najaf, and Basra
On September 30, the State of Law Coalition, led by Nouri al-Maliki, announced it would support Adel Abdul Mahdi as candidate for Prime Minister of Iraq. Member of Parliament (MP) with the State of Law Coalition, Ali- al-Ghanmi stated, “There is no reservation by the State of Law [Coalition] on the character of Adel Abdul Mahdi,” and “we support the nomination of Adel Abdul Mahdi as Prime Minister.” Ghanmi also stated that Mahdi needs to be able to reach consensus between all political factions of the Iraqi Parliament.
On October 1, Iraq’s Parliament postponed the vote for the next President of Iraq until October 2, 2018. The decision came as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) could not agree on a candidate.
On September 30, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi stated that all parties in Parliament agreed to uphold constitutional deadlines and elect the next President and Prime Minister. Halbousi also met with Japan’s new ambassador to Iraq, Naofumi Hashimoto, to discuss relations between the two countries as well as Iraq’s political progress in the region.
On October 2, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechirvan Barzani, met with candidate for Prime Minister of Iraq, Adel Abdul Mahdi. Also in attendance was the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) nomination for the Presidency of Iraq, Fuad Hussein. An anonymous source told Shafaaq News that “the Kurdish party is discussing with Abdul Mahdi the formation of the Iraqi government and the process of choosing the President of the Republic.”
On October 2, the KDP, announced the withdrawal of Fuad Hussein as their candidate for the presidency of Iraq. Leader of the KDP, Masoud Barzani called the recent election mechanisms as “unacceptable” and stated he would release a position on the withdrawal “soon.”
On October 2, the KDP released a statement condemning the process of nominating candidates for the presidency of Iraq. At the Iraqi Council of Representatives, party members announced the party withdrew Fuad Hussein as its candidate and the KDP “pointed out that the measures of the parliament is not consistent with the usual practice, especially among the Kurdish blocs on the election of the President of the Republic.”
On October 2, the Iraqi Parliament elected Barham Salih as the country’s next President. The vote for Salih came after a second round of discussions was postponed due to the KDP deciding to withdraw Fuad Hussein as the party’s candidate. Salih is a 58 year-old British-educated engineer with experience holding office in both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi federal government.
On October 2, a member of the Victory Alliance, led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated Barham Salih for his election victory to become President of Iraq. Member of MP Yusuf al-Kalabi congratulated Salih and congratulated the Iraqi people as this is an important step to finalizing the next government.
On October 2, Qais al-Khazali, leader of the armed militia group Asaib Ahl Al Haq (AAH), congratulated Barham Salih for his election as President of Iraq. Khazali was adamant that the recent development is important for moving the country forward and stated, “The decision is evidence that the current members of parliament have courage in their decision.” He also said that “their decision is Iraqi with distinction.”
On October 2, Barham Salih received enough votes from members of Parliament and was sworn in as the next President of Iraq. Salih affirmed that “ I will be committed to the constitutional rights to which I swear to preserve the unity of Iraq,” and “I will be president of Iraq, not a specific group or entity and will work in accordance with the federal democratic system.”
On October 2, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq, Jan Kubis, congratulated Barham Salih for his election by the Council of Representatives to serve as Iraq’s President. According to Kubis and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the United Nations looks forward to working with Salih to help strengthen Iraq as “a united, federal, and democratic state.” Kubis also urged the Parliament to accelerate the formation of the next government “with the same vigour and in adherence to constitutional timelines, with the process of designating the Prime Minister, to be followed by the formation of a pro-reform, non-sectarian national government that will be based on partnership cooperation of diverse components and groups of Iraq.”
On October 2, U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, expressed his congratulations for Barhim Salih on Twitter for Salih’s election as President of Iraq. According to McGurk, “We are encouraged by the progress in forming a new national government and wish President Salih success in serving all the people of Iraq.”
On October 2, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the National Wisdom Movement, congratulated Barham Salih for his victory as President of Iraq. According to Hakim, “We extend warm congratulations to Barham Salih on the occasion of his election as President of the Republic of Iraq. This is a big step in the way of completing constitutional benefits.”
On October 2, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and leader of the Sairoon Alliance, Muqtada al-Sadr, congratulated President Barham Salih on his recent election victory. Sadr wished him success as Abadi “expressed his hope,” that Salih can “serve Iraqis and preserve the rights of all its people.”
On October 2, newly elected President of Iraq, Barham Salih, named Adel Abdul Mahdi as Prime Minister designate and gave him the task of forming a new government. Mahdi was named less than two hours after Salih was elected as President and now has 30 days to create a cabinet and receive approval from Parliament. Mahdi is a 76 year-old economist who fled Iraq in 1969 to work in France. He will need to gain approval from the largest blocs in parliament and could become the first Prime Minister in the post-Saddam Iraq to not come from the Islamic Dawa Party.
On October 3, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi visited Cairo for a meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shukri. According to Alsumaria, “Halbousi stressed the importance of strengthening joint political cooperation and increasing diplomatic representation between the two countries.
On October 3, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi called on all leaders to root out terrorism across the the region in a press conference with the Arab Parliament in Cairo. Speaker of the international body, Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, expressed support for Iraq and praised the role Halabousi played in his visit to “open the horizon of joint Arab cooperation.
On October 3, Almada Paper reported that the appointment of Adel Abdul Mahdi as Prime Minister designate may not have full support from some of the Shiite political parties in Parliament. According to an anonymous political source, “the assignment of Adel Abdul Mahdi to form a new government has not been accepted by some of the Shiite political forces. The objectors were forced to non-object because of the support received to form the government by most parties.”
On October 3, the Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, called to congratulate Iraqi President Barham Salih on his recent election victory. Sabah also invited President Salih to visit Kuwait and wished Iraq well in seeing further progress and development in Iraq.
On October 3, Jon Wilks, British Ambassador to Iraq, congratulated Iraqi President Barham Salih and his designate as Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi. Wilks tweeted, “congratulations to Dr. Barham Salih on his election as President of the Republic. We wish him every success in his position.” Wilks later tweeted, “we wish Adel Abdul Mahdi every success in quickly forming an inclusive and effective government that can address the needs of the Iraqi people.
On October 3, Fuad Masum officially stepped aside as President of Iraq. The former president stated, “I express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all our dear people for all the trust and support they have given me in fulfilling my constitutional responsibilities over the years. With the completion of my full constitutional term, which I had the privilege of having been entrusted to me for over four years, I feel comfort, pride and a reassuring conscience for my success in leading my country to safety.”
On October 3, Spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert, released a statement confirming that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Iraqi President Barham Salih, following his election. The statement read that “the Secretary congratulated President Salih on his new position and underlined that the United States looks forward to working with him in this important role. The Secretary underscored continuing U.S. support for a strong, sovereign, and prosperous Iraq as outlined in our bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq.”
On October 3, former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Prime Minister designate Adel Abdul Mahdi held a meeting to discuss the formation of the next government. Abadi’s office stated, “the meeting discussed the formation of the next government and its challenges and the importance of uniting efforts to complete program goals that provides benefits that serve the aspirations of all citizens.” The two focused heavily on ways to rebuild Iraq while also “providing job opportunities and enhancing the security and stability of Iraq.”
On October 4, Prime Minister of the KRG and Deputy Chief of the KDP, Nechirvan Barzani blasted the PUK for breaking “the unity of the Kurdish people.” Barzani was adamant that the PUK did not “preserve the unity of the Kurdish people” after the party went against a previous agreement to jointly nominate a candidate with the KDP for the presidency of Iraq. According to Barzani, “the post of President of the Republic is worthless to us.”
On October 4, Nada Shaker Jodat, spokesman for the Victory Alliance led by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, stated that Abadi would support Adel Abdul Mahdi as the next Prime Minister of Iraq. According to Jodat, “Abadi was one of the first supporters of Adel Abdul Mahdi, and this shows that Abadi is not clinging to power.”
On October 4, Prime Minister of the KRG Nechirvan Barzani met with leader of the Fatah Alliance Hadi al-Amiri to discuss the formation of the next government of Iraq. According to a statement from the KRG provided to Alsumaria News, “the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the head of the Fatah Alliance, Haid al-Amiri,” and “the two discussed the issue of forming the new Iraqi federal government and asserted their support for Adel Abdul Mahdi.”
On October 4, Iraqi President Barham Salih held a meeting with Prime Minister designate Adel Abdul Mahdi and outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Salih wrote on Twitter, “at al Salam Palace today, pleased to receive PM [Haider al-Abadi] and [Prime Minister designate] Adel Abdul Mehdi. Compelling message: Peaceful transition of power and cooperation to serve the people of Iraq.”
On October 4, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with Nouri al-Maliki, leader of the State of Law Coalition. Salih called on all members of Parliament to develop a more coherent federal democratic system and to “deepen the constructive understanding between leaders of the country.”
On October 4, the head of the Kurdisitan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, announced he would fully support Adel Abdul Mahdi as the next Prime Minister of Iraq. According to a statement from Barzani’s Information Office, “Barzani phoned Adel Abdul Mahdi, describing him as an illustrious fighter and friend of the people of Kurdistan.” Barzani wished him success and stated he would give Mahdi his full support.
On September 30, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), announced it may reject the recent parliamentary elections for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). In a statement from the head of the PUK media office, Karwan Anwar stated, “the union would ignore results in several provinces” as he cited concerns that the voting process had many “violations.” This statement was later retracted.
On September 30, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) held parliamentary elections for a new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The elections mark a year since the failed September 30, 2017 referendum to create an independent Kurdistan. Recently, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the PUK, the two main parties involved in the KRG parliamentary elections, had several disputes in the Iraqi federal parliament, over the nomination of a candidate for the presidency of Iraq.
On September 30, Alsumaria News reported that approximately 58 percent of eligible voters of the KRI turned out to vote in the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). An anonymous source from the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) of the KRI stated that “the participation in the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region amounted to 57.96 percent,” and “the percentage included all areas covered by the elections.”
On September 30, Abdulkhalid Talaat, chief of Erbil police, announced that the curfew would be lifted once the voting process would be completed. Talat said that “the curfew will be lifted in the cities at 6:00pm, after the voting is completed.” Talat added that “we call on people to abide by security instructions which are issued exclusively by the Security Committee for the elections.”
On September 30, an anonymous security source reported that unidentified assailants stormed an electoral center in Sulaimania Province, KRI. The source said that the attackers “stormed, this afternoon, the polling center in the Teachers Institute in Sulaimania Province, and stole some of the election papers from the ballot boxes.” The source added that “security forces tightened security around the electoral center,” but did not disclose any further details.
On October 1, the IHERC in the KRI released the participation rate and early projected results for the September 30, 2018 elections for a new KRG. Voter turnout averaged 58 percent and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is projected to win the most seats in the new Parliament with roughly 40 of the 111 seats. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) received only 20 to 22 percent of the vote. Spokesman for the PUK Saadi Bira stated, “There has been fraud and we cannot accept the results of these elections.”
On October 1, the spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Ghyath Surja, blasted the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Electoral Commision in the handling of the September 30, 2018 parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Surja said that “the elections in the Kurdistan region were excellent, but unfortunately, the decisions issued by the Electoral Commission late in the day before the elections had a negative impact on the size of participation in the elections.” He stated that “the [PUK] did not announce it would not recognize the results of the elections,” however, “we will not recognize the results unless the Commission takes legal actions against violations, then we have no objection.” Surja contested certain requirements for voting that were instituted such as needing a passport and national card for identification purposes.
On October 2, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced it believed the party had attained 24 to 26 seats in the new Parliament. According to PUKmedia, spokesman for the PUK Briar Rashid stated, “a number of channels and the media published inaccurate news about the number of votes won by the [PUK],” and “any information not from the [PUK] is unfounded and not official.”
On October 3, the IHERC for the KRI announced it would release the preliminary parliamentary results for the elections held on September 30, 2018. According to spokesman Sherwan Zarar, “the results of the parliamentary elections in Kurdistan will be released at 2 PM on Thursday.” He also stated that any centers which were threatened or had been attacked would not be counted in the official results.
On October 4, thethe IHERC for the KRI announced the preliminary results of the September 30, 2018 parliamentary elections. These results are based on the count of 85% of the votes, according to which the KDP obtain 595,592 votes. The PUK secured 287,575 votes, while Gorran Movement had 164,336. The New Generation obtained 113,297 votes, the Islamic Group (Komal) had 94,992 votes and the Reform Coalition 69,477. Sardam Coalition gained 13,708 votes, the Azadi (Communist party) 7,069 votes, the Coalition for Democracy and Justice had 6,686 votes and the Kurdistan Conservative Party obtained 3,028 votes.
On October 4, leader of the KDP, Masoud Barzani, welcomed the recent preliminary election results in the KRI. Barzani called on the IHERC to swiftly deal with any “complaints and irregularities and to not allow any form of violations and to report the facts.” He also encouraged the people of Kurdistan to celebrate peacefully and to not engage in any violence. Barzani stated that “the success of the election process is a success for all the people of Kurdistan.”
On September 28, Shafaaq News reported that rockets were fired in the proximity of the United States (U.S.) Consulate in Basra. According to the article, witnesses located in the Abu Shereen District, 10 kilometers north of Basra, heard rockets being fired close to the Basra Airport at 1:20am local time. The rockets appeared to have fallen outside the airport perimeter. U.S. Army Colonel Sean Ryan, spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTK-OIR), told CNN that “two points of impact from strikes near the US Basra Diplomat Consulate, but nothing was hit and no injuries. No one has taken credit for this unsuccessful attempt.”
On September 28, U.S. Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, announced the temporary relocation of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Iraq, after rockets were fired in the vicinity of the U.S. Consulate in Basra. Pompeo said that “threats to our personnel and facilities in Iraq from the Government of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, and from militias facilitated by and under the control and direction of the Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani have increased over the past several weeks. There have been repeated incidents of indirect fire from elements of those militias directed at our Consulate General in Basrah and our Embassy in Baghdad, including within the past twenty-four hours.” He added that “given the increasing and specific threats and incitement to attack our personnel and facilities in Iraq, I have directed that an appropriate temporary relocation of diplomatic personnel in Iraq take place. We are working closely with our partners in the Government and Security Forces of Iraq to address these threats. We look to all international parties interested in peace and stability in Iraq and the region to reinforce our message to Iran regarding the unacceptability of their behavior.”
On September 28, the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of U.S. personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Basra. The statement read that “due to concerns about the security of U.S. government personnel, on September 28, 2018, the Department of State ordered the departure of U.S. government personnel from the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah.”
On September 28, Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, released a statement concerning the departure of U.S. personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Basra. In the press statement, Nauert said that “Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has made the determination to place Consulate Basrah on ordered departure. U.S. Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide full consular services to for those in and around Basrah. The Department’s updated Travel Advisory is available at Travel.state.gov. We remain strongly committed to supporting Iraqis in the southern provinces and throughout the country.”
On September 30, the U.S. announced it would close its consulate in the city of Basra citing concerns about threats Iran posed in the area. Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahram Qasemi, called the closure “unjustified and unnecessary.” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stood by the closure citing that recent rocket attacks were directed toward U.S. officials at the consulate. According to Pompeo “the threats against US personnel and facilities in Iraq were increasing and specific.”
On September 30, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, denied Iran’s involvement in increasing threats against U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq, particularly in the city of Basra. Zarif said that “we of course have influence in Iraq but that does not mean we control people in Iraq, as the United States doesn’t control people in countries with whom it has good relations.” Zarif added that “Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Bolton, instead of making these irrelevant threats that would produce no positive results, need to look at their own policies.”
On September 27, United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Iraq, Doug Silliman, announced the steps the U.S. will take in supporting efforts to provide relief to Iraqi citizens living in Basra Province. In a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Silliman said that “support from the United States will help the Iraqi federal government and government of Basra to respond to short-term emergency water needs, and to assist these governments to develop a long-term response plan.” The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will partner to increase accesses to clean water by installing water pumps and assisting in fixing water treatment plants in Basra Province. “This will be a united effort led by the Government of Iraq, in partnership with the United States, UNICEF, and the international community,” Silliman stated.
On September 30, a report stated that the European Union’s (EU) contributed 3 million to Iraq to provide vulnerable children with lifesaving assistance, safe drinking water, health services, quality education, and psychosocial support to alleviate toxic stress from prolonged exposure to violence. Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, stated that “providing access to life-saving emergency supplies for displaced people, and assisting Iraqi children with healthcare, safe access to quality education, psychosocial assistance and legal protection, remain top EU priorities in Iraq.” The violence has also left infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, partially or completely destroyed. More than half a million people are still living in displacement camps and rely on humanitarian support to survive, and around 4 million children need urgent and sustained humanitarian assistance across Iraq.
On October 1, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released a report called “Iraq: Restoration of agriculture and irrigation water systems sub-programme (2018–2020).” The report states that “ the impact of conflict caused by ISIL on the agriculture sector has been devastating and includes huge population movements, destruction of and damage to water systems, irrigation facilities and other agricultural infrastructure, disruption of value chains and losses of personal assets, crop and livestock production and food supplies.” Consequently, “there is a strong imperative to rebuild Iraq’s agriculture sector as it is a major provider of employment and income in rural and peri-urban areas. This will allow for the return of millions of internally displaced people (IDP) in Iraq to their areas of origin, following the retaking of Iraqi areas that used to be under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – i.e. all or parts of the five affected governorates of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al-Din.” The report also points out that the Iraqi government “has developed the Iraq Reconstruction and Development Framework (IRFD), which contributes to the Iraq Vision 2030 and National Development Plan (2018–2022). Guided by IRFD, Iraq’s United Nations Country Team (UNCT) formulated the Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP), which prioritizes three (out of nine ) components to be implemented in the retaken areas with high priority: (i) preventing violent extremism; (ii) restoring communities; and (iii) restoring agriculture and water systems. The RRP was presented at the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq’s Reconstruction in February 2018, which was jointly organized by the Government of Iraq, the World Bank and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.”
On October 3, U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) announced that the Republic of Korea contributed with USD 1.5 million to its mission, allowing the WFP to provide cash assistance to 68,000 IDPs, through electronic cash cards and mobile money transfers. Maha Ahmed, WFP Acting Country Director in Iraq said in a statement that “as the situation in Iraq remains fragile, we need to continue providing assistance to the most vulnerable families, while supporting people’s efforts to rebuild their lives and economic independence. WFP has always counted on the Republic of Korea for support in Iraq, and this latest contribution demonstrates Korea’s continued commitment to helping the country move forward.” The Korean ambassador to Iraq, His Excellency Song Woong-Yeob, confirmed that “the Republic of Korea is delighted to join the efforts of the international community in responding to the immediate humanitarian needs in Iraq. Korea’s contribution will support activities aimed at helping people in Iraq suffering from hunger and malnutrition, especially women and children.”
On October 3, Jan Kubis, U.N. Special Representative to Iraq, expressed concern for gender inequality in Iraq, which continues to prevail. The statement released by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) read that “gender inequality continues to prevail in Iraq with worrisome signals that it is deepening, requiring intensified efforts and coordination in developing a new action plan on implementing UN Security Council resolution 1325, UN Representative to Iraq Ján Kubiš said today at the high-level consultation meeting on the development of the 2nd National Action Plan. Although he was encouraged to see progress in the protection pillar and dedicated efforts to strengthen the participation pillar in the National Action Plan, the legacy of the conflict with the terrorist [ISIS] continues to hamper steps forward and there are other worrying signs of women being targeted.” The statement added that “Mr. Kubiš condemned the recent attacks against women, including the assassination of two women and the sudden death of two others in the past month, all of them active in political and social spheres. Other civil society activists including women are targeted by social media and political threat campaign, among others for their contacts with foreign embassies. This is unacceptable.”
IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties
|09/30/2018||Al-Ubaidi, 24 kilometers east of Baghdad||1||1|
|10/01/2018||Sha'ab, 18 kilometers north of Baghdad||1||4|
|10/01/2018||Sadiyah, 100 kilometers north of Diyala||0||1|
|10/01/2018||Al-Abbasi, 85 kilometers west of Baghdad||2||1|
|10/01/2018||Hawija, 67 kilometers west of Kirkuk||1||2|
|09/29/2018||Jisr Diyala, 32 kilometers south of Baghdad||0||3|
|09/29/2018||Khanaqin, 178 kilometers north west of Baghdad||0||1|
|10/03/2018||Domiz, 12 kilometers south of Kirkuk||0||3|
Please note: some geographic locations represented are approximations and this map may not represent all incidents.
Derived from firsthand accounts and Iraq-based Arabic and Kurdish news sources, the Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor is a free publication of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center.