May 25th, 2007 04:28 EST
Diyala Sheiks to Address Concerns
TIKRIT, Iraq – Approximately 45 local sheiks met with Diyala provincial leadership in Baqouba, Iraq, to discuss their tribe’s concerns, reconcile grievances and discover solutions to rid terrorism from the province, May 23.
Diyala governor, Ra’ad Hameed Al-Mula Jowad Al-Tamimi, addressed services the government could help provide; while Staff Maj. Gen. Ghanem Abass Ibraham al-Qureshy, the provincial director of police; and Staff Brig. Gen. Adul Hussein al-Tamimi, the new 5th Iraqi Army Division commander, discussed security plans for the province.
Also in attendance was Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, Multi-National Division-North operations officer; and Col. David W. Sutherland, senior Coalition Forces commander in Diyala, who spoke of reconciling tribal differences to achieve “strength through unity.”
After the key leaders spoke, the sheiks addressed three main concerns – the failure of the central government to focus on the problems of Diyala, the failure of the Provincial Council to effectively represent the people and the common goal of ridding the tribal lands of terrorists and foreign fighters.
Sheik Ahmed Azziz, Sistani’s representative in Diyala, continued to challenge the leaders to settle their differences and work with the legitimate government; while Ra’ad committed to continue meeting with different nahias throughout Diyala in an effort to create reconciliation at the lowest levels where it can be most easily enforced.
Ra’ad said his intent is to unite the provincial leadership with the local leadership in order to build reconciliation from the ground up.
After the meeting, the leaders gathered for a feast to continue their discussion and working to solve their grievances.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342