Local Iraqis Sign Peace Agreement



Release Date: 7/24/2007
Release Number: 07-01-03P

KHALIS, Iraq – Approximately 75 tribal sheiks and local leaders gathered at the Iraqi Army Headquarters in Khalis, Iraq, to discuss grievances between tribes, determine solutions for security and services, and unite to defeat al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the Khalis area.

“Our goal is to be united and cooperate between us to stand between any force that wishes to challenge our unity,” said one tribal sheik. “We have to show the people that we are honest and serious about fighting against al-Qaeda.”

The meeting, led by Staff Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem, commander of Iraqi Security Forces in Diyala; Staff Maj. Gen. Ghanem Abass Ibraham al-Qureshy, the Provincial Director of Police; and Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition Forces in Diyala, resulted in the signing of a peace agreement between 18 of the tribal leaders in attendance.

“The sheiks are the backbone of Diyala,” said Sutherland. “We are not 25 major tribes with 100 sub-tribes; we are one tribe – the tribe of Diyala.”

As stated in the Quran, “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves,” the sheiks agreed to eight conditions.

“Here, right now, I am denouncing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Qaeda,” said another sheik who later swore on the Quran to uphold the conditions of the peace agreement.

Some conditions of the agreement include cooperating with the ISF; stopping tribal conflicts such as kidnappings and murders; reporting and removing improvised explosive devices; assisting in recruiting for ISF; dissolving illegal militias; and solving disputes between tribes through local meetings with the government and other tribal sheiks.

After the meeting, the sheiks enjoyed a feast and agreed to meet in the near future to continue their efforts at uniting and solving the issues of their people.


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