Sunday, March 24, 2019

Another Nineveh governor gets sacked

Friday's snapshot noted the fallout over the sinking of the ferry which led to protesters calling out Iraqi President Barham Salah to his face.  AFP explains, "Scores of protesters swarmed Iraq’s president and the governor on Friday, forcing them to leave the site of the accident. The crowd threw stones and shoes at the governor’s car, which sped off hitting two people, one of whom was taken to hospital. Dozens of students held a silent protest on Sunday on the campus of the university of Mosul, dressed in black to mourn the victims."

Tonight, Alissa J. Rubin and Falih Hassan (NEW YORK TIMES) report:

In a rare show of deference to the anger of Mosul citizens over government abuses, the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to remove the province’s governor, citing accusations of corruption, self-dealing and negligence.
Although Mosul citizens had pleaded with the central government to remove the governor for more than two years, it was only after a ferry disaster brought angry citizens into the street that senior political figures decided to act.

They note that Nuafal Hammadi "had held the job since 2015."  They fail to note how the previous governor departed or that this was not the first government effort to remove Hammadi.

December 28, 2017, KURDISTAN 24 reported:

Following the no-confidence vote by the Nineveh Provincial Council against the governor, and the Iraqi Prime Minister’s decision to freeze his duties, a Kurd was appointed the acting governor.
On November 1, the Nineveh Provincial Council in majority vote decided to sack the province’s governor, Nofal Hammadi over alleged corruption and damaging public property.
However, Hammadi refused to step down and continues to function as the governor of Mosul. 

And eleven months earilier, THE DAILY SABAH had reported:

Governor of northern Iraqi province of Nineveh Nofal Hammadi was removed from office Wednesday by the provincial council.
"Nineveh provincial council made a decision to remove the governor in absentia," a Nineveh councilman Hassan al-Sabawi said.

The previous governor was Atheel al-Nujaifi. For those who missed it, he was also removed from office. KURDISTAN 24 explained, "The Iraqi Parliament in May 2015 removed Nujaifi from his post as the Governor of Nineveh following the fall of Mosul and the province into the hands of the Islamic State (IS) in mid-2014."

منذ اكثر من ٦٠ سنة يوجد في الموصل واجبات معروفة للمحافظ وهي رئاسة لجنة الفيضان وهذه اللجنة تضم مدير الري ومدير البلدية والقائمقام ومدير الشرطة والدفاع المدني .. وأنا استحدثت قسم خاص بالبنية التحتية وإدارة الكوارث وألحقته باللجنة .. ومع بداية موسم الربيع تراقب اللجنة كميات الماء الواردة إلى الموصل وتأثيرها على السداد وتراقب ايضا رفع المرافق السياحية في الغابات للمنشآت التي قد تعترض مجرى الماء او تؤثر على حياة المواطنين .. والمعتاد ان الجزيرة السياحية يتوقف العمل فيها قبل ان تصل كميات الماء ١٠٠٠ متر مكعب في الثانية .. ويوم امس كان الإطلاق ١٤٠٠ متر مكعب 
وفي الربيع يتذكر أهل الموصل انني كنت أقوم بجولات نهرية والبعض يتصورها ترفيهية ولكنه سياق سبقني اليه المحافظون قبل الاحتلال وهو تفقد مجرى النهر من داخله والاطلاع على الالتزام بتعليمات الفيضان .
ولكن مع الأسف الإدارة الموجودة لا تعي أهمية التنسيق بين تلك الدوائر .. فمدير الري ليس لديه سلطة على البلدية ولا المرافق السياحية ومدير البلدية يحتاج حلقة الوصل مع الري ولايعرف ماهي استعدادات الدفاع المدني .. 
السبب الحقيقي هو عدم استيعاب ادارة المحافظة لاهمية سياقات العمل والخبرة المتراكمة بالإضافة إلى المكاتب الاقتصادية التي تمنح المستثمرين نفوذا يتجاوز طاقة صغار الموظفين .

In his post, al-Nujaifi explains that the Nineveh officials were supposed to work together -- governor, mayor, chair of the flood committee, etc. -- and that the island the ferry was supposed to go to should have been ruled off limits based on existing rules regarding the water level.

If al-Nujaifi is correct, those are pretty important points and they are points that are not being conveyed in the reporting on the disaster.

Rubin and Hassan also report on an attitude towards those protesting.

“We must end all these signs of anger,” one of the new leaders of Nineveh Province said, referring to the demonstrations, protest tents and marches set up in Mosul after a ferry disaster killed at least 97 people.
Rubin and Hassan note:

One of General al-Jabouri’s leadership partners, Mr. al-Khayat, conveyed a tough message to the provincial government’s department heads: Cut out the corruption, focus on citizens’ needs, show up at your jobs and report back every day.
“The citizens want to see you on the ground,” he said, adding, “The city is on edge and the situation is tense, and everyone needs to be available to provide services. The bridges need to be fixed, the electricity delivery needs to be increased.”

Mosul and Basra have both been home to protests against the government and its failure to provide for the needs of the Iraqi people.

In other news . . . 

  1. .'s Rights Commission () elects —third worst country in the world on gender equality (147/149)—as Vice-Chair. Iraqi criminal, family, religious, labor & inheritance laws discriminate against women, who can't get passport without consent of male guardian.

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