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Iraqi tribal chiefs forming an anti-insurgent party

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Story from the L.A.Times

 

excerpts from the story;

 

By Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer

April 20, 2007

 

 

RAMADI, IRAQ — A group of Sunni tribal leaders in beleaguered Al Anbar province said Thursday that it intended to form a national party to oppose insurgents such as Al Qaeda in Iraq and reengage with Iraq's political process.

 

The announcement came after 200 sheiks said to represent 50 tribes met here and agreed to form a provincial sheiks council and hold the first convention in May of their new party, called Iraq Awakening. Sheiks from three other provinces will attend, organizers said.

 

The driving force behind the new party, Sheik Abdul-Sattar abu Risha, said in an interview that the tribal leaders would be pushing a slate of candidates in Al Anbar provincial elections later this year, as well as in the next round of national parliamentary balloting, scheduled for 2009.

 

One purpose of the party, Sattar said, is to promote a better image of American-led forces "to the Iraqis here." He added that the tribes also would participate in a U.S.-backed effort to reestablish a court system in Ramadi, the provincial capital.

 

After remaining neutral or in favor of the insurgency that followed the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, many Al Anbar sheiks eventually grew disenchanted due to the brutality of foreign-led militants. Sattar said he began organizing sheiks in September after his father and three brothers were killed by insurgents.

 

"The terrorists destroyed the network of people and how they communicate, and the new sheiks council is here to bring it back and fight the insurgents until they are out of the country," Sattar said.

 

<snip>

 

...some sheiks in Ramadi and other parts of Al Anbar have established closer links with U.S. armed forces since last year, when they began speaking out against the insurgency and Al Qaeda in Iraq.

 

 

<snip>

 

Sattar said the sheiks council would offer "full accountability for anyone in his tribe. Also they will know of any strangers — man, woman or child — who try to mix in their neighborhoods."

 

Analysts who lauded the sheiks' announcement as well as U.S. efforts to work with them cautioned that the political situation remained fluid.

 

"It's only now that the United States appears convinced of the need to build up local support against Al Qaeda," said Joost Hiltermann, a consultant with the International Crisis Group in Amman, the capital of Jordan. "What these people want is a restoration of Sunni power, or a preservation of certain privileges, or more simply, protection of their community from the Shiite majority and Iran."

 

Vali Nasr, a Middle East expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., said the

"most important result may not be in the battlefield but in producing new Sunni voices that Shiites and Kurds can negotiate with."

Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution in Washington said that improving U.S. relations with Sunni sheiks made "eminent sense" but that officials needed to be thinking about the "next step."

 

"We need better contacts among Sunnis for the purposes of negotiating an end to the civil war," he said, "and this could create an opportunity to create partners in the larger project while also serving an immediate need."

 

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wo...ack=1&cset=true

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Looks like these are what salim was talking about more than five months before LA times put more exposure on them.. Acccording to Salim, Almaliki had a lot of faith in them and had supported their wakeening movement that brought Sunni ansd Shia together more than any other intiative did ..

On Aliraqia , Shiekh Sattar gave a speach in which he give special attribute to Almaliki and claimed that the movement is moving accross factions and race and to join a larger Iraqi nationalism one

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Looks like these are what salim was talking about more than five months before LA times put more exposure on them.. Acccording to Salim, Almaliki had a lot of faith in them and had supported their wakeening movement that brought Sunni ansd Shia together more than any other intiative did ..

On Aliraqia , Shiekh Sattar gave a speach in which he give special attribute to Almaliki and claimed that the movement is moving accross factions and race and to join a larger Iraqi nationalism one

 

I remember reading articles about "the awakening" movement. guess a link to the article is still around

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