1st Cavalry News
Tribal leaders continue to unite across Diyala
Multinational Division – North PAO
TIKRIT, Iraq – As Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces continue to provide security and stability throughout Diyala Province, Iraq, many tribal leaders are also uniting to bring peace and stand up against al-Qaida in Iraq.
After a peace agreement was signed between the paramount sheiks of the Karki and Shimouri tribes April 30, other tribal leaders have gathered throughout the region to do the same – provide peace and protection for their people and their lands.
At the Al Abarrah Iraq Army compound, local leaders gathered May 10 to pave a way ahead for peace between some of the rival villages and gain a commitment toward a unified stand against al-Qaida while supporting the government. The leaders also focused on the establishment of a police force in Zaganiyah.
“We’re beginning to have real success in the area,” said Capt. Michael Few, A Company, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment commander, who is attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “As long as we can continue these talks, there is hope for the people of Diyala.”
Sheik Ahmed Azziz, Sistan’s representative in Diyala, led the meeting and clearly stated success will not be achievable unless the tribes unite against terrorist groups throughout Diyala. He encouraged the leaders to push their past aside and talk about how they will secure the city for themselves.
The meeting resulted in five Sunni and five Shia volunteering for an Iraqi police hiring committee to work on the recruiting of local police.
Ahmed also encouraged the leaders to agree upon eight key points to include returning displaced families to the area, opening an IP station in Zaganiyah, securing the area under government supervision, turning to the ISF for assistance, protecting government institutions, committing to fight terrorists without sectarianism and be honest with one another.
“The key message is that issues must be resolved in the political realm, not with acts of violence and intimidation,” Few added.
The leaders will continue to meet to work out grievances and agree upon a peace agreement.
“I am anxious to see this region enjoy a future free of sectarian strife,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Poppas, 5-73 Cav. commander, “These positive engagements where each element openly discuss issues which effect the community as a whole and where their issues are received in a manner of understanding provides great promise.”
Also in Diyala, tribal leaders from the Ambugiya and Ubadie tribes have also begun a series of tribal meetings designed to resolve conflicts between villages from Khalis to Dali Abbas.
The leaders have been meeting with provincial and security force leaders to determine how to resolve their differences, stating terrorists must be eliminated from the province and are pledging to eliminate terrorist activity from their lands.
Further meetings are also planned between the Amugiya and Ubadie tribes to reconcile differences and sign an official peace agreement.