ISHM: October 5 – 11, 2018

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This week’s headlines:

    • Yazidi Human Rights Defender Nadia Murad of Iraq Receives the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her Efforts to End the Use of Sexual Violence in Warfare and Seek Justices for Victims – On October 5, along with Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Congo, Nadia Murad, 25, was co-awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy on behalf of the Yazidi community and genocide survivors. Murad was kidnapped and sold as a slave by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants in 2014, after ISIS captured her hometown of Kojo in Sinjar District, Ninewa Province. She was subjected to rape and other human rights abuses before being able to escape from captivity three months after the kidnapping. Murad has shed light on the Yazidi genocide and the ongoing needs of survivors. Through her organization, Nadia’s Initiative, she published a March 2018 report on the status of Sinjar, finding that since the beginning of the genocide, 90,000 Yazidis fled Iraq, mostly to Germany, the United States, and Canada. The report further found that an estimated 300,000 Iraqi Yazidis remain in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, while only 70,000 have been able to return to their homes. Nadia Murad is the first Iraqi to be awarded a Nobel Prize. more…
    • Assassination of Basra Activists Allegedly Linked to Political Factions, Turkey Agrees to Let More Water Flow Into Iraq – On October 8, Almada Paper reported that an intelligence group was sent to the city of Basra to investigate the escalation of assassinations against activists in the city. Anonymous security sources told Almada Press that the investigation discovered the existence of a “list of assassinations” targeting protests leaders. On October 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih held a press conference stressing the need for a national dialogue surrounding the humanitarian crisis in Basra Province. On October 10, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to release more water from the Tigris into Iraq by temporarily postponing the reservoir project behind Ilisu dam. On October 11, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss Basra’s water crisis and political relations with Turkey. more…
    • Baghdad, Salah ad-Din and Anbar Provinces Hit by Multiple Bomb Attacks, Police Officers Kidnapped in Anbar Province – On October 6, one person died and 14 were injured after a bus carrying workers exploded in Baiji District, Salah ad-Din Province. On October 6, a parked car exploded, killing three civilians and injuring a policeman in Fallujah, Anbar Province. On October 7, a roadside bomb exploded near the entrance of Malik al-Ashtar, approximately 12 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, killing one civilian and injuring another one. On October 7, Jan Kubis, the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), condemned the terrorist bombings that targeted several neighborhoods in Baghdad, Salah ad-Din, and Fallujah the past two days. On October 10, Shafaaq News reported that three Iraqi soldiers were captured and an army officer was killed in the town of Akaz, approximately five kilometers south of Qaim District, Anbar Province. more…
    • Salih Receives Seal of Office, Government Formation Process Continues – After being elected on October 2, 2018 as the new President of Iraq, on October 5, Barham Salih received the seal of office from former President Fuad Masum. On October 8, the KDP refuted rumours that the party would boycott future sessions of Parliament over the election of Barham Salih as President of Iraq. On October 8, the Secretary of the KDP Fadhil Mirani stated that his party has still not decided how much of a role the KDP will play in the next federal government. On October 8, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and Iraqi President Barham Salih met to discuss the formation of the next government. On October 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih and Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi met to discuss the formation of the next government. On October 10, Iraq’s Cabinet selected the Minister of Oil, Jabbar al-Luiebi, to serve as the next president of the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC). more…
    • The World Bank Provides Grant for a Program to Empower Women in Iraq in Cooperation with the Governments of Iraq and Canada, GCC Countries Discuss Electricity Exports to Iraq – On October 7, the World Bank Group, the Government of Iraq, and the Government of Canada launched a USD 1.95 million grant to support Iraq’s efforts to strengthen systems and deliver programs to empower women economically and politically, including entrepreneurial programs for poor and vulnerable women. On October 3, Undersecretary of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy and Industry Matar al-Neyadi stated that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are discussing electricity exports with Iraq. On October 7, the Tamkeen Center for Participation and Equality organized a seminar in the hall of Dhi Qar’s Provincial Council to discuss the representation of women in the next Iraqi government. On October 10, Haider Qassim, a senior relief official with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) in the Salah ad-Din Province released a statement concerning the distribution of relief and food aid to returnee families in Salah ad-Din’s Baiji District. 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.


Yazidi Human Rights Defender Nadia Murad of Iraq Receives the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her Efforts to End the Use of Sexual Violence in Warfare and Seek Justices for Victims

On October 5, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced their decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their commitment to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Denis Mukwege, 63, a Congolese gynecological, has committed is life to helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nadia Murad, 25, is an Iraqi Yazidi woman, who was captured, sold as slave and abused by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants, and managed to escape after three months of captivity. Murad was born and lived in the village of Kojo, Sinjar District, which came under ISIS control in 2014. During ISIS rule, Yazidi women, including underage children, were abducted and held as slaves. Murad and approximately 3,000 other Yazidi girls and women were repeatedly subjected to rape and other abuses. In 2016, at the age of just 23, the United Nation (UN) named Murad the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Through her Nadia’s Initiative organization, Murad compiled a report on the status of Sinjar in 2018, assessing that, since the beginning of the genocide, 90,000 Yazidis fled Iraq, mostly to Germany, the United States (U.S.) and Canada. In Iraq, 300,000 Yazidis are presently residing in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, while only 70,000 of them were able to return to their homes.  

On October 5, Nadia Murad released a statement after being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. Murad said that “this morning the Nobel Committee informed me that I was selected as a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. I am incredibly honored and humbled by their support and I share this award with Yazidis, Iraqis, Kurds, other persecuted minorities and all of the countless victims of sexual violence around the world. As a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people who have suffered unimaginable crimes since the genocide by Daesh, which began in 2014. Many Yazidis will look upon this prize and think of family members that were lost, are still unaccounted for, and of the 1,300 women and children, which remain in captivity. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis, have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women in particular have suffered greatly as they have been, and continue to be the victims of sexual violence. For myself, I think of my mother, who was murdered by DAESH (ISIS), the children with whom I grew up, and what we must do to honor them. Persecution of minorities must end. We must work together with determination – to prove that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but lead to accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the survivors. We must remain committed to rebuilding communities ravaged by genocide. Survivors deserve a safe and secure pathway home or safe passage elsewhere. We must support efforts to focus on humanity, and overcome political and cultural divisions. We must not only imagine a better future for women, children and persecuted minorities, we must work consistently to make it happen – prioritizing humanity, not war. Congratulations to my co-recipient, Dr. Mukwege, a man I admire greatly who has dedicated his life to helping women of sexual violence. Thank you to the Nobel Committee for this honor. I  will organized a press conference this Sunday in Washington DC. The time and place will be announced tomorrow on this page.”

On October 5, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), congratulated Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege on being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. He announced that “in defending the victims of sexual violence in conflict, they have defended our shared values. Nadia Murad gave voice to unspeakable abuse in Iraq when the violent extremists of Daesh (ISIS) brutally targeted the Yazidi people, especially women and girls. As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime since 2016, she has pursued support for victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery and justice for perpetrators. Her powerful advocacy has touched people across the world and helped to establish a vitally important United Nations investigation of the harrowing crimes that she and so many others endured. Dr. Denis Mukwege has been a fearless champion for the rights of women caught up in armed conflict who have suffered rape, exploitation and other horrific abuses.  Despite regular threats to his life, he made the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a haven from mistreatment. The United Nations has supported his efforts. He has been a strong voice calling the world’s attention to the shocking crimes committed against women in wartime. As a skilled and sensitive surgeon he not only repaired shattered bodies but restored dignity and hope. Ten years ago, the Security Council unanimously condemned sexual violence as a weapon of war. Today the Nobel Committee recognized the efforts of Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege as vital tools for peace. By honouring these defenders of human dignity, this prize also recognizes countless victims around the world who have too often been stigmatized, hidden and forgotten. This is their award, too. Indeed, the award is part of a growing movement to recognize the violence and injustice disproportionately faced by half of our population. Let us honour these new Nobel laureates by standing up for victims of sexual violence everywhere.”

On October 5, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) congratulated the Yazidi human rights defender, Nadia Murad, who was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. The UNFPA stated, “Nadia is a survivor of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) perpetuated by ISIL (ISIS). Through her strength and bravery, she has become the voice of women suffering from sexual violence in conflict (SVC). Dr. Oluremi Sogunro, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, responded to Murad’s achievements, and stated, “Today, the world applauds Nadia Murad’s courage. However, we must not forget that there are currently close to 3,086 Yazidis remaining in captivity, among these approximately 1,126 are women. UNFPA in Iraq calls for action to rescue these women and girls and reiterates its readiness to continue its support to SGBV and GBV survivors through the Women Survivor Centres and Women Social Centres that provide medical services, psychosocial support services and legal counselling.”

On October 8, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Nadia Murad spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. To begin the conference, Murad emphasized that, “we must work together to put an end to genocide, hold accountable those who commit these crimes and achieve justice for the victims. So far we have not seen justice happen for the Yazidis, especially the victims of sexual slavery,” adding that she hopes to see Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) fighters stand trial for their crimes. ISIS destroyed millions of dollars worth of infrastructure, and with little reconstruction aid thousands of Yazidis are unable to return to their homes and are stuck living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDP). Murad pledged to be a voice for victims around the world, and called on the Iraqi government and the international community to rebuild the Yazidi towns and villages destroyed during the war. “But without peace, even if we rebuild, life is not possible,” Murad added.

On October 10, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to promote accountability for Da’esh / ISIL crimes (UNITAD), Karim Khan, congratulated Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2018. Khan said that “Through her exceptional bravery, Nadia Murad has chosen to confront those who have kidnapped, tortured and abused her in order to draw attention to the plight of her Yazidi community, and other victims, who have suffered immensely. In doing so, she has highlighted the need for the international community to ensure that justice is delivered for all victims. For this, we salute her courage and applaud the impact it has had in removing the stigmatization of victims and reminding us that their suffering should never be forgotten.” He also spoke of Dr. Mukwege, saying that “Dr. Denis Mukwege, a physician, spent years helping thousands of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, becoming a symbol of the struggle to end sexual violence in conflict. He deserves all the recognition for his activism and courage.” Khan vowed that “our team will prioritize investigating crimes of sexual and gender-based violence in Iraq,” adding that “In her statement after being awarded the prize, Ms. Murad said ‘We must work together with determination – to prove that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but lead to accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the survivors.’ Our pledge as UNITAD, to the world, and to her, is that we will work tirelessly through our independent investigations to support proper accountability for [ISIS] crimes.”


Assassination of Basra Activists Allegedly Linked to Political Factions, Turkey Agrees to Let More Water Flow Into Iraq

On October 8, Almada Paper reported that an intelligence group was sent to the city of Basra to investigate the escalation of assassinations against activists in the city. Anonymous security sources told Almada Press that the investigation discovered the existence of a “list of assassinations”, which would allegedly target protests leaders. The source added that an “armed group” tied to political parties generated the list and that “tribal problems” of certain activists would serve to falsely present their assassinations as “tribal revenge,” as Basra has been witnessing numerous tribal conflicts for years. According to the sources, the “armed group” would be responsible for assassinating some women activists under the pretense of “moral clearance,” in an attempt to cover up the real motives behind the murders happening in Basra. The sources also affirmed that new procedures will be implemented in Basra, after Qassim Nazal al-Maliki was appointed commander of the Basra Operations Command, and that the political parties involved with the “armed group” will be punished. Almada Press added that Ameen Wahhab, head of the National Wisdom Movement in the Basra Provincial Council,  said during a phone conversation with the newspaper that “the assassinations operations are continuing in the province. Yesterday, two young men were killed in mysterious circumstances,” as they were shot and killed in Al-Saie, approximately six kilometers west of Basra.  

On October 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih held a press conference stressing the need for a national dialogue surrounding the humanitarian crisis in Basra Province. After a meeting with a delegation of politicians, including MPs from Basra, Salih stated, “the issue of Basra and ending its suffering occupies the priority of our interests. We are following with great interest the first demands and needs of the people of the province of Basra and their suffering as we are in solidarity with their aspirations and we plan to work on more than one level to achieve.”

On October 10, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to release more water from the Tigris into Iraq by temporarily postponing the reservoir project behind Ilisu dam. Around 70 percent of Iraq’s water supplies flow from neighboring countries, especially in the Tigris and Euphrates which run through Turkey. Scarcity of water in Iraq has lead to health issues and civil unrest, specifically in the southern province of Basra. Iraqi Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi met with Erdogan in Turkey on October 9, and announced the president agreed to an Iraqi request “in order to guarantee water reaches all of Iraq’s provinces, especially Basra.” Turkey temporarily stopped filling the reservoir June 7 but agreed with Iraq to resume doing so in July.

On October 11, the leader of Fatah Alliance, Hadi al-Amiri met with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss the current bilateral relations between the two countries. Amiri’s office stated that “Turkey is one of the friendly and supportive countries of Iraq, which we wish to fulfill the promises made regarding the launching of sufficient water quotas for Iraqi lands and ending the worrying issue for the Iraqi people.” Amiri also hoped that Turkey would support withdrawing its troops in Northern Iraq to “ensure that relations between the two countries are not disturbed.”

On October 11, Basra Member of Parliament (MP) Badr al-Zayadi called on Iraqi Minister of the Interior, Qassim al-Araji, to limit the number of weapons available to civilians in Basra Province. Zayadi stated, “the presence of weapons in the hands of citizens is a threat to the the security within the province,” and, “thousands of people from the province of Basra are carrying arms in the streets, and this threatens the security and the stability of the province.” Zayadi further warned that inaction could result in the transfer of security forces outside of Basra in the case of an outbreak of violence.

On October 11, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss the current water crisis in Basra Province and current  political relations with Turkey. Salih stated that “Iraq’s keenness to develop historic and vital good-neighborly relations between the two countries and to seek building balanced and fruitful relations with Turkey and all of  its neighboring countries is on the basis of mutual interests and respect for national sovereignty.” Salih also stressed the need for Iraqi-Turkish relations to become a source of stability in the region as Turkey can “develop constructive and strategic relations with Iraq on the issue of water.”


Baghdad, Salah ad-Din and Anbar Provinces Hit by Multiple Bomb Attacks, Police Officers Kidnapped in Anbar Province

On October 6, one person died and 14 were injured after a bus carrying workers exploded in Baiji District, Salah ad-Din Province. The blast took place at Siniya refinery, approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Baiji. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

On October 6, a parked car exploded, killing three civilians and injuring a policeman in Fallujah, Anbar Province. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

On October 7, a roadside bomb exploded near the entrance of Malik al-Ashtar, approximately 12 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, killing one civilian and injuring another one. On the same day, two civilians were killed and two were wounded in Abu Dshir, approximately 15 kilometers south of Baghdad, after a roadside bomb exploded.  

On October 7, Jan Kubis, the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), condemned the terrorist bombings that targeted several neighborhoods in Baghdad, Salah ad-Din and Fallujah the past two days. Kubis urged the authorities to be vigilant in their drive to uncover and destroy the terrorists’ sleeper cells. He said that “the people of Iraq will not be cowed by such cowardly acts from pursuing a life of normalcy. Terrorism will not be allowed to derail the country’s recovery and future of stability and prosperity.”

On October 10, Shafaaq News reported that three Iraqi soldiers were captured and an army officer was killed in the town of Akaz, approximately five kilometers south of Qaim District, Anbar Province. The officers were captured after unidentified assailants attacked their security vehicle while they were on a mission providing food to other troops. No group claimed responsibility for the attack


Salih Receives Seal of Office, Government Formation Process Continues

On October 5, recently elected President of Iraq, Barham Salih, received the seal of office from former President Fuad Masum. The official Twitter account for the Government of Iraq featured a video with a brief ceremony between the two Kurdish political leaders, as the peaceful transfer of power was finalized.

On October 7, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, met with U.S. Special Envoy for Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, Brett McGurk and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman. Barzani wrote on Twitter, “pleased to receive @brett_mcgurk and @USAmbIraq today at my office, we spoke of the latest political developments in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.”

On October 7, leader of the KDP, Masoud Barzani, met with the leader of the Sunni National Axis Alliance, Khamis Khanjar, to discuss the political situations in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). According to a statement issued by the website of the National Axis Alliance, “the national axis emphasizes that the Democratic Party is an active and decisive party in the matters of building the state as desired by Iraqis.” According to a senior assistant to Barzani, Hemin Hawrami stated, “We are talking to all parties and we have no red lines on anyone. We are happy to put together a strategic framework for the next four years.”

On October 8, the KDP refuted rumours that the party would boycott future sessions of Parliament over the election of Barham Salih as President of Iraq. Member of Parliament (MP) and member of the KDP, Pierre Taher said in a statement that “the news that the [KDP] will boycott the upcoming parliament sessions in opposition to the election of Barham Salih as president of the Republic of Iraq is incorrect; there is no such approach.” He further added that the KDP registered an official objection to the mechanisms used to select the president.

On October 8, the Secretary of the KDP, Fadhil Mirani, stated that his party has still not decided how much of a role the KDP will want to play in the next federal government. According to Shafaaq News, this statement came during a celebration in the city of Erbil after the recent victory of the KDP in the KRI’s parliamentary elections. The KDP held a meeting in his political office to address the issue of forming the next federal government after Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi was selected by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK’s) nominee for President, Barham Salih.

On October 8, Nouri al-Maliki, leader of the State of Law Coalition, met with U.S. Special Envoy for Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, Brett McGurk and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman. Maliki urged the U.S. to support the next government and stressed “the need to accelerate the formation of the government so that [Iraq] will enjoy security and stability.”   

On October 8, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity and the Ministry of Justice of Iraq agreed on a joint partnership to promote close cooperation in eliminating corruption and recovering funds funneled abroad. According to a join statement from the two ministries, “the agreement stressed the strengthening of cooperation between the parties in the field of prosecution outside Iraq related to the extradition of wanted, and the recovery of funds derived from the crimes of corruption smuggled abroad.” The Iraqi Commission of Integrity added, “the agreement signed was based on the belief in the need to cooperate and work together to spread a culture of integrity, transparency, accountability, and respect of the ethics of public service.”

On October 8, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and Iraqi President Barham Salih met to discuss the ongoing developments and discussions to form the next government. According to a statement from Salih’s office, “the two sides stressed the importance of adhering to constitutional deadlines and stressed the need to mobilize efforts to form a strong and efficient government capable of overcoming obstacles and challenges.”

On October 9, the Iraqi Council of Representatives voted to create a committee tasked with amending the rules of procedures in Parliament. According to an anonymous parliamentary source, “the Council of Representatives voted today on the formation of a parliamentary committee to amend the provisional rules of procedures and is composed of 17 deputies.”

On October 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih and Iraqi Prime Minister-designate, Adel Abdul Mahdi, met to discuss the formation of the next government. According to a statement from Mahdi’s office, “the Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi met with President Barham Salih, and “the meeting discussed the formation of the government, the priorities of the next phase, and the importance of efforts to serve all citizens in addition to cooperation and understanding between the president and all parties to proceed with the reconstruction of the country.”

On October 9, Iraqi Prime Minister-designate, Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a statement clarifying the timeframe for adhering to constitutional deadlines to form the next government. Political leaders who wish to seek nominations for senior positions will have from “8:00 am on Tuesday October 9 until 4:00 pm on Thursday October 11,” upon meeting all of the requirements outlined in the constitution.

On October 9, outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi refuted earlier reports that he was already given a senior position in the next federal government. He called these reports “premature” and said that he was “noting that candidacies for some ministries were open.”

On October 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with a delegation from the Supreme Judicial Council, headed by Judge Faiq Zaidan. The two sides discussed the importance of the separation of powers and the need to work together in forming a joint committee in order to review laws in place and what legislation is needed to further develop a peaceful Iraq.

On October 9, three Kurdish parties filed a request that the KRG Ministry of the Interior form a fact-finding committee to investigate potential fraud in the September 30, 2018 parliamentary elections for the KRG. The Movement for Change deputy Ahmad Haj Rashid held a joint press conference with at least 2 other political parties calling for a fact-finding committee as he stated, “there are violations and falsifications” as he accused the KDP and the PUK of obtaining certificates of Iraqi nationals in order to forge documents and gain votes from people who shouldn’t have been voting in the KRG elections.

On October 9, the Fatah Alliance, headed by Hadi al-Amiri announced it did not nominate anyone for positions in the next federal government’s cabinet. Fatah Alliance MP, Amer al-Fayez stated that “the Fatah Alliance did not nominate any names for the Cabinet but left the Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi to choose the cabinet candidates freely without placing or imposing any names on him to be responsible for his Cabinet.”

On October 9, Iranian Ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi met with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi. Masjedi reaffirmed Iran’s support for Iraq in the next phases of forming a federal government and wished him success.

On October 9, outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and leader of the National Wisdom Movement, Ammar al-Hakim discussed the importance the two political actors should play in helping the next government in stabilizing and improving Iraq. In a statement from Abadi’s office, “during the meeting the two discussed the political situation and talks on the formation of the government and the importance of uniting efforts to maintain past achievements,” and, “the two sides stressed the importance of helping the next government to complete the process of reconstruction, security, and stability.”

On October 9, the Iraqi Council of Representatives reviewed several options on amending its rules of procedures, which included reducing the number of committees to 20. Almada Paper reported that the recently formed interim committee will hold a October 10, 2018 meeting to discuss proposals put forward by MPs. MP Talal al-Zobaie told reporters that the major proposals were to “reduce and merge parliamentary committees,” as some members seek to merge the Committee of Integrity and the Committee of Law.  

On October 10, Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi stressed the need for political officials to open up the Green Zone in Baghdad in an effort to bridge the gap between politicians and citizens. Mahdi stated, “We must open the Green Zone to the citizens and ask for support from the deputies of the Council of Representatives to implement this demand to break the barrier between the citizens and officials.”

On October 10, Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi submitted a proposal to bridge the gap and improve relations between the legislative and executive branches of government. In an effort to improve relations, Mahdi recommended that the Office of the Prime Minister should have its headquarters in the Council of Representatives and “there will be a periodic meeting in parliament with the deputies to coordinate between the executive and legislative authorities.”

On October 10, outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with the Iraqi Economic Council to discuss the importance of facilitating investments in the Iraqi economy. According to a statement from Abadi’s office, “it was discussed the importance of lifting obstacles that hinder the movement of the economy and activating investments,” and, “the delegation praised the support of Abadi to provide a safe and sound environment for Iraqi economists.”

On October 10, Iraq’s Cabinet selected the Minister of Oil, Jabbar al-Luiebi, to serve as the next president of the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC). Ministry of Oil spokesman, Assem Jihad confirmed the move and stated, “the company will be in charge of Basra Oil Company, North Oil Company, all of it, more than the ministry.”

On October 10, Jan Kubis, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, met with Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the National Wisdom Movement. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) posted on Twitter, “Jan Kubis met with [Ammar al-Hakim], leader of the National Wisdom Movement. They discussed the current political situations in the country with special emphasis on the pose electoral developments and formation of the new government.”

On October 10, Jan Kubis, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General of the United Nations met with Osama al-Nujaifi, President of the Iraqi “resolution coalition”. The Tweet posted by UNAMI read that “the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United nations, #العراق Mr. Jan Kubiš, met today with the President of the Iraqi resolution coalition, Mr. Osama AL-NUJAIFI. the two sides discussed the current political situation in the country, with a special focus on post-election developments and the formation of the government.”

On October 11, outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, as the two discussed the importance of continued cooperation, especially in the fight against terrorism in the region. Abadi’s office stated, “the meeting witnessed the promotion of bilateral cooperation and relations between the two countries and ways to solve outstanding problems through coordination, in addition to the water quota and supporting Iraq in reconstruction.”


The World Bank Provides Grant for a Program to Empower Women in Iraq in Cooperation with the Governments of Iraq and Canada, GCC Countries Discuss Electricity Exports to Iraq

On October 7, the World Bank Group, the Government of Iraq, and the Government of Canada launched a USD 1.95 million grant to support Iraq’s efforts to strengthen systems and deliver programs to empower women economically and politically, including entrepreneurial programs for poor and vulnerable women. The program is titled, “Gender and Social Protection in Iraq: Towards Economic Empowerment” and aims “to instill long-term legislative and institutional capacity for gender mainstreaming, and introduce programs that will support the economic and political empowerment of women in Iraq.” The first step of the program is to review existing women’s empowerment programs and provide technical support through workshops to government officials on enhancing the design and implementation of these programs, as well as on strengthening monitoring and evaluation schemes.

On October 3, the Undersecretary of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy and Industry Matar al-Neyadi stated that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are discussing electricity exports with Iraq. Iraq has been suffering from power cuts for at least 15 years, and recent cuts sparked widespread protests in recent weeks in central and southern Iraq. The GCC has offered to use the link of the Gulf electricity network to the Iraqi network for the export of surplus electricity production. Al-Neyadi explained that the Gulf states produce more than 100 gigawatts (GW) annually, and consumes only 30% in the winter. In September 2018, the German engineering company Siemens discussed a plan with the Iraqi government to meet Iraq’s need for electricity and development of the distribution network. The plan proposes an agreement that would add 11 GW of power over four years, representing an increase of up to 50% in current generation capacity in Iraq.

On October 7, the Tamkeen Center for Participation and Equality organized a seminar in the hall of the Dhi Qar Province Council, to discuss the representation of women in the next Iraqi government. The seminar contemplated the formation of large political bloc formed by women, which would include more than 80 deputies, to counter the declination of women’s participation in the legislative process that characterized the previous two governments. Alia al-Shuwaili, Tamkeen Center director, sid that the level of women participation is “still below the level of ambition”, but there is the “hope to be represented in the next government”. Shuwaili also added that “the quota system of women has been applied in Parliament as a constitutional text, but [it was] absent during the formation of the government, which led to the decline women’s representation in the previous two governments.” Shuwaili highlighted “the importance of enhancing the role of women in the efficient formation of the next government and not rely on the representation of the form of women, which is based on loyalty to the dominant parties and the political scene,” adding that “the choice of competent women, whether partisan or independent would give a good example of the women’s performance,” and prevent the failure of the next government.

On October 10, Haider Qassim, the relief official of The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) in the Salah ad-Din Province, released a statement concerning the distribution of relief and food aid to returnee families in the Baiji District, Salah ad-Din Province. Qassim said that “the IRCSs` teams have distributed 345 food parcels and 345 health kits to the families who have returned to their areas in the districts of( Tal al-Zaatar, Al-Askari district, and Al-Resala in Baiji, the teams are continuing to distribute to all the displaced families that have already been surveyed and covered with food and relief aid.” Qassim added that “the IRCSs`s health teams have also provided daily medical, therapeutic and psychological support services through field visits to the families who have returned to their areas and the displaced families who are living in Al-Alam and Al-Qadisiyah compound in the governorate.”


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
10/07/2018 Baghdad11
10/07/2018 Abu Dshir, 17 kilometers south of Baghdad22
10/07/2018 Abu Ghraib, 44 kilometers west of Baghdad12
10/09/2018 Baiji, 89 kilometers north of Salah ad-Din 03
10/07/2018 Al Rashid, 14 kilometers south of Baghdad04
10/10/2018 Tikrit, 130 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk14
10/06/2018 Fallujah, 66 kilometers west of Baghdad15
10/06/2018 Siniya 114
10/07/2018 Al Shuala, 16 kilometers north of Baghdad. 02
10/11/2018 Kirkuk 24

 

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.


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