Safe Return

NINEWA ISHM NO.7: NOVEMBER 29 – DECEMBER 27, 2019

Key Takeaways:

  • Significant increase in IED and small arms attacks; Security efforts south of Mosul intensified in response to increased ISIS activity; Four new security stations opened – The 51 security incidents recorded in Ninewa during this reporting period included: 19 operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF) (compared to 26 in the previous report) that resulted in the arrest of dozens of suspects, most believed to be affiliated with ISIS, in different areas of Ninewa. Some of these operations involved the discovery of weapons and equipment, destroying militant hideouts, or dismantling explosive devices. The past four weeks also saw two air strikes by the International Coalition forces, in support of the ISF. In contrast, there were 11 small arms attacks (compared to six in the previous report), three kidnappings, and seven improvised explosive devices (IEDs) (compared to five in the previous report) targeting civilians and ISF, and the bodies of three civilians who had been shot in unknown circumstances were also found. The past few weeks have also included three large-scale security campaigns in southern Mosul in response to the escalation of ISIS activity in that area, a case of mistaken killing by the security forces, and the arrest by security forces of four Mosul University students because of their participation in a student strike in solidarity with their peers in central and southern provinces. Finally, one police and three other security stations were opened in north and east of Ninewa. more…
  • Calls for Christians to return as a church reopens in Mosul; Kidnapped Yazidis freed; An orphanage opens in Sharya; Camps excluded from the cancellation of the security check – On December 7, the Bishara Church reopened in east Mosul, coinciding with the return of 80 displaced families to the city. The Governor of Ninewa called on the displaced Christians to return to their areas of origin in the Ninewa Plain, pointing to the stable security conditions and the return of services in Christian areas. On December 11, a kidnapped Yazidi child was returned from Turkey to his family in Iraq. On December 26, a kidnapped Yazidi girl was released after five years in the grip of ISIS. On December 23, an orphanage was opened in Sharya, which will provide shelter for more than 140 orphans, most of whom are victims of the ISIS genocide against Yazidis in August 2014. On December 26, the National Security Council canceled the steps for security checks in provinces liberated from ISIS, excluding those displaced in the camps. more…
  • Several streets and public buildings rebuilt; The Gwer Bridge reopens; Ninewa budget gets an additional ID340 billion; Construction of major sewage treatment project proceeds – On December 4, one of our local monitors reported that the municipality of Tel Kaif started building an entrance to the district that also includes a two-way road. On December 7, one of our local monitors said that authorities opened the second passage of the fourth bridge in Mosul. On December 10, a primary school was opened in the village of Hatamiya, south of Sinjar. On December 12, the Gwer bridge linking Ninewa and Erbil was opened. On December 16, the governor of Ninewa said that the Ninewa municipalities began construction of runways for Mosul International Airport. On December 19, the governor of Ninewa said the central government added ID340 billion as a supplementary budget for the province. On December 19, the Mosul municipality began planting 3,000 trees in the forest area. On December 20, social media sources reported progress in a wastewater treatment project in east Mosul that aims to reduce river water pollution from sewage and irrigation canals. On December 23, the Ministry of Agriculture said it will pay the dues of farmers who marketed wheat in the Ninewa and Kirkuk provinces in the 2014 agricultural season. more…
  • New governor takes office, pledges to provide jobs; The governor promises to increase the allocations for rebuilding Sinjar; The central government prevents governors from dismissing the heads of administrative units – On December 1, the new Ninewa governor, retired Lieutenant General Najm al-Joburi, formally took charge of the governor’s post, replacing Mansour al-Muried. Al-Jubouri visited the University of Mosul and announced plans to allocate 7,000 jobs to graduates and the unemployed. On December 14, one of our local monitors said that a group of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq forces paid money to a group of villagers in Bartella to persuade them to participate in pro-militia demonstrations in Baghdad. On December 16, the governor of Ninewa met with Yezidi religion leaders, calling for a unification of the Yazidi position, and announced the allocation of a large percentage of the province’s budget for the reconstruction of infrastructure in Sinjar, including building housing complexes at the beginning of next year. On December 26, the Iraqi Council of Ministers issued a resolution prohibiting governors from dismissing heads of administrative units and other senior officials in the provinces. more…

Safe Return is a multi-organization USAID project that is providing support for the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced Iraqis—many from minority communities—to their homes in the Ninewa Plains and Western Ninewa.


Security Developments

Significant increase in IED and small arms attacks; Security efforts south of Mosul intensified in response to increased ISIS activity; Four new security stations opened

Note: Above figures represent information collected from Iraqi and international news sources, social media, and our community monitors. They do not necessarily represent all incidents that occurred during this reporting period.

On November 30, unknown militants opened fire at two people, one of whom a member of the popular mobilization forces (PMF) while they were driving a private vehicle in Sinjar west of Mosul. Both individuals were killed in the attack.

On November 30, the Ninewa police said that International Coalition aircraft conducted two airstrikes against hideouts and stores belonging to ISIS in an uninhabited area near the Ilawi Zeidan village south of al-Baaj west of Mosul.

On November 30, one of our community based monitors (CBMs) reported that unknown militants kidnapped a young man from the village of Hawi Aslan near Nimrud south of Mosul. The abduction took place around 4am at Khan al-Jemasa between the villages of Hmeira and Hawi Aslan. The reasons for the abduction were unknow. The victim, a shepherded named Hamid Ibrahim Shehatha, was found murdered (slaughtered) four days later near a quarry in al-Rashidiya region north of Mosul.

On December 2, Ninewa police and intelligence units defused several IEDs in Hay al-Tayaran neighborhood in west Mosul. The IEDs consisted of mortar rounds wired for detonation and are thought be remnants from the ISIS occupation of the city.

On December 3, the PMF said its units in brigade 44 repelled an attack by ISIS militants on al-Hadhar district south of Mosul without any losses. The following day, the PMF force conducted a search operation south of Mosul during which they destroyed a number of ISIS hideouts and uncovered rockets, explosives and other munitions.

On December 3, one of our CBMs reported that a farmer was killed when an IED, thought to be remnant from the ISIS occupation, exploded near his tractor while he was trying to till his land. The incident took place near al-Kisk on the Tal Afar road west of Mosul.

On December 5, the Interior Ministry said that Ninewa police managed to free the owner of a currency exchange business and arrested one of his captors. The freed person had been kidnapped for ransom the night before near the third bridge in east Mosul.

On December 5, the explosion of an IED, thought to be remnant from the ISIS occupation killed one civilian and severely wounded his brother while they were attempting to dig a well in al-Intisar neighborhood in east Mosul.

On December 5, unknown militants opened fire from small arms at a service employee at the Ninewa education department in east Mosul, killing him instantly.

On December 6, one of our CBMs reported that the director of intelligence for the Qayyara subdistrict south of Mosul arrested a wanted ISIS militant at Erbil airport after receiving an arrest warrant based on article 4/terrorism in this regard. The CBM added that the wanted ISIS member, named, Faris al-Ubeid, was quickly set free amid suspicions of corruption and bribery being involved.

On December 6, the Ninewa police said that armed men kidnapped a young man named Ahmed Raad Shihab, a high school student, near his home in Mosul’s old district.

On December 8, the military intelligence said that its forces arrested a person suspected of financing ISIS in Mosul during its occupation of the city by stealing the wheat crops from the Wa’iliya silo. The arrest took place during an ambush in the Itmarat village in Tal Afar district west of Mosul.

On December 8, the commander of Ninewa operations said that a force from the 16th division in the Iraqi army found heavy machineguns and large amounts of munition boxes in the Sheikh Younis village in the Nweget mountains southwest of Mosul.

On December 9, Ninewa police arrested five members of ISIS in the neighborhoods of Bakr, Zahraa, Quds and Nahdha in east Mosul. Three of the suspects were ISIS fighters during its occupation of the city while the other two worked in the Hisba and Sharia organizations.

On December 9, a roadside IED exploded in the Surooj village near the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul. One high school student was killed in the explosion.

On December 9, one of our community based monitors reported that the security checkpoints leading to the Ninewa plains from the direction of Erbil closed the road to the town of Qaraqosh/Bakhdida starting at dawn that day. The checkpoint personnel did not provide reasons for the closure of the vital economic road for the locals.

On December 9, the national security department arrested four students from Mosul university because of their participation in a strike at the university on the previous day. A student activists said the arrests were made during raids of the students’ homes.

On December 11, the ISF found the dead body of a civilian showing marks of gunshot wounds in the Yarmouk neighborhood west of Mosul.

On December 11, one of our community based monitors said that ISIS militants opened fire on an army checkpoint Tuesday night near the Kharar village in the Hamam al-Alil subdistrict south of Mosul. The attackers detonated an IED when ISF reinforcements arrived at the scene but there were no casualties. Hours later another attack by ISIS militants took place near the nearby Jehouni village, also in Hamam al-Alil. One ISF officer was wounded as a result. Information supplied by another community based monitor indicated that one woman was also wounded by gunfire when a wedding convoy she was part of passed by the attack site.

On December 11, the Ninewa police arrested four members of a gang suspected of involvement in an armed robbery that targeted a goldsmith who was on his way home from his shop. The four suspects were arrested in east Mosul and some of the stolen jewelry was recovered by police.

On December 12, a source in Ninewa police said that counter terrorism forces mistakenly killed two fishermen while they were working in a security restricted zone of the Mosul dam lake north of Mosul.

On December 13, the military intelligence directorate said its forces arrested a suspected terrorist in Qayyara while attempting to cross from Mosul to the Kurdistan region.

On December 14, one of our community based monitors (CMBs) said that authorities have officially assigned the security of the Qayyara – Mosul road to a PMF unit known as Regiment 48, Fursan al-Jubour.

On December 15, an IED, thought to be left over from the ISIS occupation period, exploded in the Ayadhiya subdistrict west of Mosul, killing two civilians.

On December 15, the Ministry of Defense said intelligence units from the 16th division of the Iraqi army broke up and arrested a terrorist cell of eight members in the Albu Saif area in the Hamam al-Alil subdistruct south of Mosul. The ministry said the suspects were planning attacks designed to spread fear of ISIS resurgence.

On December 16, local police found the bodies of two young men in the Islah Zera’ie area in west Mosul. The bodies showed signs of gunshot wounds.

On December 16, PMF press sources said PMF units repulsed what was described as a heavy attack by ISIS militants in the al-Hadhar district south of Mosul.

On December 16, the Ninewa operations command said it imposed a curfew in all of Hamam al-Alil subdistict south of Mosul to allow security and intelligence forces to conduct a large search operation in light of reports about ISIS militants infiltrating the region. The Ninewa commander said the curfew would continue until the search is complete and residents’ names are verified.

On December 17, ISIS militants attacked the village of Beshmana in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosuland killed a local resident. The attackers were reportedly wearing military uniforms as disguise. There was no information on their numbers or the vehicles they used.

On December 17, one of our CBMs said that the Ninewa police opened a new police station in Bashiqa subdistrict east of Mosul. The new station is located in the Omar Qabji village and is called the Khorsebad junction station.

On December 17, the Ninewa police arrested a person suspected of being an ISIS fighter during the occupation of Mosul. Police found weapons and munitions inside the suspect’s home, which is located in the al-Noor neighborhood in east Mosul.

On December 18, police sources said that unidentified militants assassinated the mukhtar of the Jurn village in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul.

On December 18, our CBMs said that Niewa SWAT forces cordoned off the residential district of the Qayyara base to conduct a search and verification operation after ISIS activity was reported in the Qayyara district the previous night.

On December 19, a security source said the ISF arrested a suspected terrorist who intended to distribute money to families with suspected links to ISIS fighters. The suspect was arrested in the Noor neighborhood in east Mosul with $1,600 in cash. The source added that weapons were found buried in the suspect’s yard.

On December 19, the Ninewa police arrested seven suspected ISIS members in the Wadi Hajar neighborhood in west Mosul and took them in for further interrogation.

On December 21, one of our community based monitors reported that ISIS militants opened fire on a civilian vehicle carrying two doctors on the road to al-Majman village in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul. One of the passengers was killed and the other was wounded.

On December 21, the Ninewa police, acting on court warrants, arrested eight suspected ISIS members in various parts of east Mosul. Three of the suspects were in the Hisba organization, one was in the Sharia organization while the other four were ISIS fighters during its occupation of Mosul.

On December 22, ISF discovered a weapons cache in the Muhalabiya village in Tal Afar west of Mosul. The cache was inside a house and included mortar and artillery rounds, heavy machinegun munitions and other explosives that were disposed of by military engineers.

On December 22, the ISF arrested nine ISIS members in various villages belonging to Hamam al-Alil subdistrict, including Salahiya, Dbaja, Sheikh Younis, Husseiniya, Lazaga, Muzmilat and Tel Rayan. The suspects were ISIS fighters during the occupation of Mosul.

On December 22, two civilians were killed and a third was injured when ISIS militants attacked the Rasif village in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul.

On December 22, unidentified militants assassinated the imam of the Huda mosque in the Shora subdistrict. Police sources said the assailants used silenced weapons and arrived in vehicles without plates.

On December 23, the PMF launched a joint security operation with the army and tribal fighters to clear 760 square kilometers in al-Hadhar, passing through Wadi Tharthar and up to the Um al-Aqarib bridge south of Mosul. The operation uncovered eight tunnels and ten hideouts, some containing weapons and logistical supplies used by militants, and an IED factory. Engineers destroyed four of the tunnels along with the factory.

On December 24, the ISF arrested two suspected terrorists in the Rabei and Qadisiyah neighborhoods in Tal Afar west of Mosul. The suspected were ISIS fighters during the occupation of Mosul.

On December 24, two IEDs exploded targeting PMF and army units with the 14th division in the Kashaf village in the Gwer subdistrict. Two ISF members were killed and five more were wounded.

On December 25, bomb squads with the 30th brigade of the PMF removed ten IEDs in the Sheikh Amir village in the Ninewa plains east of Mosul. Locals reportedly asked the PMF for help because the IED contamination prevented them from cultivating their land.

On December 25, the ISF arrested five suspected ISIS members in old Mosul. A police source said the ISF took the suspects to the Ninewa command center for questioning.

On December 25, the Ninewa operations commander said that the ISF reopened three offices for the national security directorate that ISIS had destroyed during its occupation of Ninewa. The buildings are located in Tel Kaif and Wana north of Mosul and in Bartella east of the city.

On December 26, Ninewa SWAT forces conducted a search and security verification operation utilizing wanted persons databases in the Teeba village south of Mosul. The operation resulted in the arrest of 13 suspects.


Humanitarian Issues

Calls for Christians to return as a church reopens in Mosul; Kidnapped Yazidis freed; An orphanage opens in Sharya; Camps excluded from the cancellation of the security check

On December 7, the governor of Ninewa, Najm al-Jubouri, accompanied by Christian clergy, opened the Bishara Church in east Mosul, which was partially destroyed by ISIS during their occupation of the city. The governor said that the opening of the church coincided with the return of 80 displaced families to the city of Mosul. Al-Jubouri stressed the importance of peaceful coexistence among all societal components in Ninewa, the need for joint action to build and reconstruct the province, and the importance of the return of Christians to it, as they are an integral part of the community.

On December 7, one of our local monitors reported that on December 5, ZOA, in cooperation with the Mukhtar of the region, provided assistance and service support to the people of Zinkal village in the Hamdania district. The initiative included: The employment of eight village women in their agricultural fields for twenty days for $400, the provision of $600 cash payments to four other women to enable them to purchase sewing machines and fabrics to launch small sewing projects, and the provision of $400 for vulnerable families to buy farm animals and benefit from their products. Finally, the organization also employed about twenty workers from the region to clean the area for twenty days for $400.

On December 11, a kidnapped Yazidi child named Bewar Qasim Khalaf was returned from Turkey to his family. The child, who is from the village of Tal Qasab and is now five years old, had been kidnapped by ISIS gunmen with his mother during the attack on the Sinjar / Shingal district in 2014. On December 26, a kidnapped Yazidi girl named Mehwar Samir Rasho was released after five years in the grip of ISIS. The girl is from the village of Hardan in the Shamal / Sununi subdistrict and is now with the Yazidi House in Syria. According to statistics released by the Yazidi abductees rescue office in the Kurdistan Region, the number of Yazidis who are still missing since August 2014 is 2,889, of whom 1,309 are female and the rest are male.

On December 15, one of our local monitors reported that a group of young volunteers distributed food baskets to help needy families in Bashiqa, east of Mosul, on the occasion of the Yazidi fasting holiday. The social councils in Bashiqa and Bahzani had earlier decided to cancel the celebrations during the Yazidi holiday in solidarity with the demonstrators in Baghdad and the south of the country and out of respect for the blood of their martyrs, preferring to limit the celebrations to religious ceremonies only.

On December 16, the governor of Ninewa, Najm al-Jabouri, called on the displaced Christians to return to their areas of origin in the Ninewa Plain, noting the stable security condition and the return of services in the Christian areas.

On December 19, the search and rescue team of the Ninewa Civil Defense Directorate recovered seven bodies from the Zanjili and Shahwan area in east Mosul. The bodies were unidentified skeletons, and they were handed over to forensic medicine. On December 25, civil defense personnel recovered five other unidentified bodies in the Shahwan and Qalayaat area in west Mosul, which were also delivered to the forensic medicine department.

On December 23, an orphanage was opened in Sharya, which will provide a refuge for more than 140 orphans, most of them victims of the genocide carried out by ISIS against the Yazidis in August 2014. In addition to shelter, the house will provide education, health, nutrition, arts and sports activities, and computer and language courses.

On December 27, the governor of Ninewa issued an order to open an investigation into a video clip showing two security personnel physically assaulting a poet. The governor requested that the investigation team headed by the director of internal affairs in Ninewa province complete its work within 48 hours.

On December 26, the National Security Council canceled the steps for security audits in provinces liberated from ISIS, excluding those displaced in the camps.


Economy And Reconstruction

Several streets and public buildings rebuilt; The Gwer Bridge reopens; Ninewa budget gets an additional ID340 billion; Construction of major sewage treatment project proceeds

On December 2, one of our local monitors said that the Oryx Oil Company carried out maintenance the road linking the Kaka’i villages (Zinkal, Majidiyeh, Tal Al Laban, Kazkan and Wardak), which is about 10 kilometers long, by flattening the road and cladding it with crushed stone mixed with asphalt.

On December 4, one of our local monitors reported that the municipality of Tel Kaif district began building a gate for an entrance to the town, which is located north of Mosul. The gate also includes the construction of a two-lane road worth ID74 million. The monitor also added that the road works in Telkif included paving of a side-street located behind the flour factories, indicating that this project has sparked criticism among locals who think there are other streets more worthy of resources than that one.  By contrast, the project to build the entrance to the judiciary was welcomed by the citizens.

On December 7, one of our local monitors said that the local authorities opened the second lane of the fourth bridge in the city of Mosul that morning, which contributed to reducing traffic between the two sides of the city.

On December 10, there were reports about the opening of a primary school in the village of Hatamiya, south of Sinjar / Shingal, after it was rebuilt by the Nadia Murad Initiative, in cooperation with Sunrise organization. Those in charge of the project stated that the school, which ISIS had destroyed in 2014, still needed teachers due to the Education Directorate’s failure to send them to school because of the small number of students attending it since many of the village families remain displaced.

On December 11, one of our local monitors the annual marketing festival for farmers, entrepreneurs, handicrafts and vocations returned to Mosul. The event aims to restore sustainable livelihoods in the city and was held on the ground of the Ninewa International Fair. Many people attended the fair support local products and get acquainted with the locally made goods. The project is supported by the Malteser International and the German Ministry of Cooperation and Economic Development and with the participation of the local Hands of Mercy Hands organization.

On December 12, the press office for the Governor of Ninewa announced on Thursday the opening of the Al-Gwer Bridge that connects Ninewa to Erbil Province, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, and from there to Kirkuk and the rest of Iraq. On December 14, one of our local monitors said that the bridge was closed just two days after it was opened due to an alleged dispute between the security forces of the central government and those of the Kurdistan Regional Government over the percentage of revenue from commercial traffic, especially large trucks, passing over this bridge. The bridge reopened again on December 19.

On December 16, the Governor of Ninewa, Najm al-Jubouri, said that the municipalities of Ninewa and companies affiliated with the Iraqi Ministry of Construction have begun rebuilding the runways of the Mosul International Airport, noting that about ID2 billion were allocated to cover the cost of work with a period of completion yet to be determined.

On December 19, the governor of Ninewa announced in a press conference a set of efforts to improve the infrastructure and services in Ninewa, which included obtaining an amount of ID340 billion from the central government as a supplementary budget for the province, the signing of a contract worth ID10 billion to build two 40-ton bridges in Badush and Mosul,  allocating ID10 billion to improve electricity, and negotiating with a Danish company to build 80,000 housing units in the province, worth five billion euros.

On December 19, the Mosul municipality began planting 3,000 trees in the forest area as part of a campaign to plant one million trees.

On December 20, social media reports indicated progress in a wastewater treatment project in east Mosul, which aims to reduce river water pollution to discharge from sewers and irrigation canals and reduce the consumption of clean water from the Tigris River. Work on the project, which includes two stages and has a design capacity of 200,000 cubic meters per day, was halted during ISIS occupation of the city.

On December 21, a news report said the UAE was providing a $ 2.5 million grant to develop infrastructure and service projects in the Sinjar / Shingal district. The Emirates News Agency said that the financial grant will be provided through the Nadia Murad initiative “with the aim of developing a comprehensive project” to improve water supplies and sanitation services. The project will be implemented by the Dutch organization “Dorcas” and will provide services to more than 61,000 Yazidis in six villages within the Sinjar / Shingal district.

On December 21, the workers of the Mosul municipality completed paving of the old alleys of the Sheikh Fathi area in west Mosul. On December 25, the Mosul municipality completed the paving of the road between Kokjali and Al-Samah neighborhood, east of Mosul.

On December 22, one of our local observers reported that a committee from the Ministry of Construction in Ninewa Province, in cooperation with the Ninewa Education Directorate, had begun completing the rehabilitation of Orta-Kharab high-school in Bashiqa district after work was stopped due to the events of 2014 and the fall of the Ninewa Plain to ISIS.

On December 23, the Ministry of Agriculture said that it will pay the dues of farmers who marketed wheat in the provinces of Ninewa and Kirkuk for the agricultural season in 2014 and who handed over their crops to the Iraqi Company for Seed Production sites. The announcement came after the National Security Council issued letters confirming that there were no negative security indicators against those farmers.


Politics And Administration

New governor takes office, pledges to provide jobs; The governor promises to increase the allocations for rebuilding Sinjar; The central government prevents governors from dismissing the heads of administrative units

On December 1, the new Ninewa governor, retired Lieutenant General Najm al-Jubouri, took over his duties in formally managing the position, succeeding Mansour al-Muraid, who had been sacked by the provincial council on November 19.

On December 1, students of Mosul University organized, on Sunday, a mourning stand and march to the martyrs of the demonstrations that fell in the provinces of Najaf and Dhi-Qar in the events of the previous days that killed dozens. The students recited Surat Al-Fatiha and performed a prayer for the souls of the victims, then went out on a march condemning the killing of the demonstrators.

On December 3, one of our local observers said that the new Ninewa governor, Najm al-Jubouri, visited the University of Mosul and announced from there that there were plans to allocate 7,000  jobs. The governor met with the presidents of the universities of Mosul and Ninewa to discuss the future plans for the province, including providing jobs for graduates and the unemployed.

On December 6, one of our local monitors said that the new Ninewa governor, Najm al-Jubouri, directed the contracting department in the province’s office to ensure that contracts signed by the province with contracting companies should include a paragraph stipulating the employment of five young graduates in each project that is worth one billion dinars or less, and to add another person for every 500 million dinars over the first billion dinars.

On December 8, one of our local monitors said that the Integrity Commission in Ninewa closed three petrol stations, the Shallalat station in Al-Qahira, the martyrs station in Karama and the Ibn Al-Atheer station in the Shuhada neighborhood and arrested 26 employees and workers for manipulating the product and collecting more amounts than scheduled.

On December 13, the Ninewa Traffic Director said that the directorate had again begun receiving and processing vehicle registration requests, granting registration plates, and had already issued a number of these plates after a long hiatus caused by ISIS’s occupation of Mosul in 2014.

On December 14, one of our local monitors said that a force believed to be linked to Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq took that morning a group of villagers from the Bartella district in large buses to participate in demonstrations in support of the militia, which is a PMF faction, which were organized later in Baghdad to protest the US sanctions against its leader, Qais Al-Khazali. According to the monitor, eyewitnesses confirmed that the aforementioned force offered money to the people in exchange for their participation in demonstrations.

On December 16, Ninewa Governor, Najm al-Jubouri said during a meeting with Yazidi religious leaders at his office that a large proportion of the province’s budget was allocated for the reconstruction of infrastructure in the Sinjar / Shingal district, west of Mosul. Al-Jubouri stressed that “the most important matter at the present time is the restoration of the Yazidi house and that all parties cooperate and reject differences to create the appropriate conditions to attract investment and push the process of construction, because cities and villages are built only with the effort of their people.” The governor promised to start building housing complexes in the Sinjar district early next year.

On December 19, one of our local monitors said that the Integrity Commission arrested nine employees and follow-up agents in the Mosul municipality on several charges, including bribery and manipulation of land ownership documents in accordance with Article 307 of the Iraqi Penal Code. In a related news, the Ministry of Justice appointed a new director for real estate registration in east Mosul to succeed the previous director, who was arrested a month ago on charges of bribery and the forgery documents related to personal and public property.

On December 22, one of our local monitors reported that the Ministry of Health issued an order to close all unofficial clinics in all areas of the province, which are run by nurses instead of qualified doctors. The decision, despite its validity, met with negative reactions from some locals because they rely on these clinics for treatment due to lack of hospitals and health centers in their areas, especially those located in the Ninewa Plain and west Ninewa.

On December 26, the General Secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers issued a decision prohibiting governors from dismissing heads of administrative units and other officials holding senior positions in the provinces.


Officially launched in June 2019, Ninewa-ISHM and Security Bulletins utilize information collected from community-based monitors; Iraq-based Arabic, Kurdish, and English news sources; data from aid agencies; and social media posts, verified and fact-checked by EPIC’s research team. This weekly bulletin is part of Safe Return, a project to support the safe and voluntary return of IDPs who have survived severe human rights abuses to their homes in Ninewa. Safe Return is made possible with the generous support of the American people through USAID in partnership with Heartland Alliance International.

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