Iraq: Announcement of Peaceful Coexistence Pact of Honor for the Tribes in Al - Ayadiyah Sub - District

Report
from Sanad for Peacebuilding
Published on 10 Aug 2018

Al-Ayadiyah, Iraq, August 10, 2018 – On August 9, tribal and community leaders, representatives of the Permanent Higher Committee for Coexistence and Social Peace at the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, and the local government in Nineveh Governorate and in Tal Afar District signed an agreement covering peaceful coexistence among Ayadiyah citizens, between surrounding communities, and with the local and central government in Al-Ayadiyah. The agreement allows for the facilitation of return processes for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the town, which number around 40,000 persons inside Ayadiyah Center and its surrounding villages.

The agreement, signed by more than 90 tribal and community leaders from Ayadiyah, is the result of an initiative led and implemented by Sanad for Peacebuilding (Sanad), a non-governmental, non-profit organization promoting peace and non-violence, and Iraq’s National Reconciliation Committee, acting under the Permanent Higher Committee of Peaceful Co-Existence and Social Peace. The initiative, supported by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), involved facilitated dialogues and consultations with tribal leaders and local government officials from Ayadiyah to have a better understanding of the main challenges and opportunities to achieving peaceful coexistence, support for the rule of law, and stability after liberating the region from the Islamic State.

“This agreement is a very important development to the area as it is enforcing the mutual trust between the population of Ayadiyah who are still displaced in KRI, Mosel and Turkey. This agreement is a message to all of Ayadiyah’s population that there is still hope in the return to their town,” said Nasha’at Sadiq Mohammed, Chair of Ayadiyah Local Council.

Among other things, the agreement commits tribes to the state’s justice and security process instead of tribal justice, which has at times triggered vengeful acts. The main points of the agreement include:

  • Commits tribal authorities to the state and rule of law, disavowing violence to seek justice;
  • Commits tribal authorities to cooperate with security agencies in the pursuit of ISIS members and suspects;
  • Commits tribal authorities to move beyond parochial identities by giving priority to national identity.

The agreement also aims to allay sectarian and extremist narratives and mandates a tribal and local peace committee to follow-up on the implementation of the above points.

Al-Ayadiyah has suffered under the Islamic State since mid-2014 and previously struggled with terrorism and divide-and-rule tactics by Al Qaeda and other actors since 2005. The principles, mechanisms, and recommendations announced today, have brought together the differing tribes, with full support of the government, in order to establish peace and implement fair and comprehensive justice in the region. Please see the annex for the signed agreement that includes the principles, mechanisms, and the recommendations.

“We believe that the dialogue sessions we had under Sanad’s program encourages the social acceptance and restoration of social ties. In my opinion, these dialogue sessions are the right tool to bring such results and I would recommend including more community leaders to further strengthen the community agreements,” Ahmed Mahmoud Al Thahir, Mayor of Ayadiyah sub-district.

As a reflection of inclusivity and unanimity, the conference was attended by:

  • Dr. Fa’al Al Maliki, representing the Higher Committee of Peaceful Coexistence and Social Peace;
  • Ahmed Ja’afar, The Mayor of Ayadiyah;
  • Nasha’at Sadiq Mohammed, the Chair of Ayadiyah sub-district council;
  • Sheikh Khalil Aliyawi, representing Grand Ayatullah Al Sistani Office at Al Husseini Atabah
  • The Police Commander of Tal Afar;
  • The head of National Security Advisory in Ayadiyah;
  • Mohammed Jawad Abdulkadir, the supervisor of 14 PMF factions in western-Nineveh and a representative of Ayatullah Al Hakim;
  • More than 150 tribal and community leaders and youth.

Background:

Al-Ayadiyah, located 11 km north of Tal Afar, has a population of 16,000 with the majority from a Sunni Turkmen background and a minority from a Shia Turkmen background. Surrounding Ayadiyah, 53 villages with a total population of 55,000 consist of Arab, Turkmen, and Kurdish components which represent Nineveh’s diverse religious composition of Shiites, Sunnis, Christians and Yezidis.

After Mosul was recaptured, Iraqi forces began operations to liberate Ayadiyah from the Islamic State in August 2017. Iraqi forces faced an unexpectedly tough battle which lasted for 10 days and led to considerable destruction of the area's infrastructure. During the Iraqi Parliament's 13th session, held in March 2018, Ayadiyah was declared a disaster area due to large scale damage of homes and infrastructure.
The liberation of the area, however, has increased stability and led to an acceleration of returns by Internally Displaced Persons.

About Sanad for Peacebuilding:

Sanad for Peacebuilding is a non‐government organization, established in 2013 with support from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Sanad works to build and strengthen peace, democracy and human rights in Iraq by providing support and technical expertise to civil society networks. Sanad is particularly supporting the Network of Iraqi Facilitators (NIF), and the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities (AIM).

These networks were developed by USIP and have primarily transitioned to be supported by Sanad. Sanad is governed by an independent board of directors, comprised of eight members with professional backgrounds in peacebuilding, civil society, rule of law, human rights, media, academia, and government.
They also reflect the diversity of the Iraqi communities. For further information on Sanad please visit www.sanad-iq.org

Press Contact: Ammar Zakri |Programs Manager | 0770 211 6258 /ammar.zakri@sanad-iq.org