Iraq to allocate $1 billion for Anbar reconstruction

Iraqi government will spend $1 billion to rebuild the Anbar province.

Iraq to allocate $1 billion for Anbar reconstruction
World Bulletin / News Desk
The government plans to allocate $1 billion for the reconstruction of the violence-wracked Anbar province in response to demands by local tribesmen, as Iraqi security forces continue to wage a wide-scale operation against militants in the western, predominantly-Sunni province.

"The cabinet has approved the tribesmen's demands as a step towards establishing stability and security in the province," Iraqi Finance Minister Safaadin Safi told a Tuesday evening press conference.

The announcement came as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the province earlier this week after vowing to finance the reconstruction of properties damaged in recent fighting.

Safi went on to say that al-Maliki would head up a new committee, consisting of representatives from various ministries, tasked with assessing property damage in the province.

Last December, the Iraqi army unleashed a wide-ranging operation aimed at hunting down the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group in Anbar.

However, many local Sunni tribes opposed to the government have continued to voice anger over the operation's civilian death toll.

The operation had come amid simmering tensions between the government and local Anbar tribesmen after security forces dismantled an anti-government sit-in outside provincial capital Ramadi to protest perceived anti-Sunni discrimination by al-Maliki's government.

According to an earlier statement by al-Maliki, tribesmen had demanded that the government designate $1 billion to rebuild the province and enroll 10,000 Anbar residents in the security apparatus.

Tribesmen also demanded that the trial of Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani, who was arrested last December on terrorism charges, be held in the province.  

Hundreds have been killed and injured since violence broke out in Anbar's two key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah last December, according to government estimates.

Over 42,000 families have reportedly been displaced by the violence.

Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2014, 12:14
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