Security


GardaWorld Weekly Security Report

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

Women, Children with perceived ties to IS Denied Aid

Women and children with perceived ties to IS denied aid, sexually exploited and trapped in camps

Iraqi women and children with perceived ties to the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) are being denied humanitarian aid and prevented from returning to their homes, with an alarming number of women subjected to sexual violence, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.

The Condemned: Women and Children Isolated, Trapped and Exploited in Iraq reveals widespread discrimination against women living in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) by security forces, members of camp administrations and local authorities, who believe these women are affiliated to IS.

Amnesty International established that sexual exploitation was occurring in each of the eight camps that Amnesty researchers visited.

“The war against IS in Iraq may be over, but the suffering of Iraqis is far from over. Iraqi women and children with perceived ties to IS are being punished for crimes they did not commit,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.

More here from Amnesty International.

(Source: Amnesty International)

ISIS Suspects’ Homes Confiscated

Iraqi security officers are denying immediate relatives of suspected Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members security clearance to reclaim homes being occupied or to seek compensation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.

Security forces have also destroyed or confiscated some property. Such acts, based only on family relationships to ISIS suspects rather than individual security determinations, are a form of collective punishment.

“These families deserve the same protections that Iraqi courts provide to all citizens,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Courts should be the guarantors against discrimination that will only further sectarian divisions in the country and delay needed reconciliation.”

More here from HRW.

(Source: HRW)

Iraq: Building a Diversified and Modern Economy

IBBC Spring Conference 2018

Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy 

Tuesday 24 April at Mansion House, London

IBBC’s Spring Conference returns on 24 April 2018, bringing to the heart of London the preeminent political and business figures involved in business and the economy of Iraq.

The theme for this years’ conference is Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy. The conference aims to address the key challenges in building a diversified and modern economy, which will enable Iraq to build on the recent economic and social stability to progress into one of the Middle East’s major economies once again. Sessions will focus on Finance, Technology, Oil & Gas and Education.

The Government of Iraq has confirmed it is sending a high-level delegation of government representatives to the IBBC Spring Conference, which will be led by H.E. Dr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the Iraq Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission (PMAC). The delegation will also include senior representatives from the Iraq Ministries of Oil and Industry.

The IBBC Spring Conference, held at the prestigious Mansion House, the home and office of the Lord Mayor of London, is traditionally IBBC’s flagship event, which attracts suppliers, investors, producers and buyers from Iraq, the UK and the wider international business community.

Prominent speakers include Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor, Locum Tenens, Ambassador Jonathon Wilks, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq and Baroness Fairhead CBE, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Department for International Trade.

IBBC expects a high attendance at the conference and the new round tables are designed for close business interaction and the facilitation of in-depth discussion, where delegates can focus on particular sectors of interest and engage with speakers and industry experts on the issues that really matter.

With representatives from all major interested parties involved in Iraq expected to attend, as well as pre- and post- networking events, the IBBC Spring Conference 2018 will provide many opportunities for networking at the highest level, as well as providing exceptionally informative and experienced panels.

Sessions on the agenda include:

Finance: ‘Criteria and process for obtaining major project finance’ Chair: Mr Gavin Wishart, IBBC

IBBC has gathered several preeminent voices in the finance industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities Iraqi and international firms face in sourcing capital for major projects. Representatives from some of the largest international finance organisations, JP Morgan and Allan & Overy LLP, as well as representatives from UK Export Finance and GE will discuss in detail the criteria and process of obtaining finance for major projects in Iraq.

  • Mr Richard S. Wilkins, Executive Director – Export Finance, JP Morgan
  • Mr Tom Longmuir, Counsel, Allen & Overy LLP
  • Mr Guto Davies, Managing Director – Global ECA CoE Leader, GE Capital
  • Mr David Craig, Deputy Head of Civil Infrastructure and Energy Business, UK Export Finance

 

Technology: ‘Developing Iraq’s digital economy’ Chair: Mr Ashley Goodall, IBBC

The IBBC Tech Panel brings together the two leaders of the UK and Iraq e-government initiatives in addition to experts in FinTech and entrepreneurial hub development. The panel will address in detail how innovative new technology and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve the activities in the public and private sectors to help Iraq’s economy and growth.

  • Mr Ahmed Elkady, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Mr Ali Al Dahwi, Consultant, Management Partners
  • Mr Chris Fergusson, Director at The Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)
  • Mr Mohammed Khudairi, Managing Partner, Khudairi Group

 

Oil & Gas: ‘Need for locally available products and services – how the sector can help diversification of Iraq’s economy’ Chair: Mr Vikas Handa, IBBC

This expert panel consists of representatives from the largest IOC’s in Iraq, Governmental representatives from the Iraq Ministries of Oil and Industry and an Oil & Gas expert from the Department of International Trade. The session will cover all key aspects of Iraq’s Oil & Gas sector for 2018, delivered by the preeminent experts in the field and will include a panel discussion and Q & A chaired by Vikas Handa, the head of IBBC’s Oil & Gas Sector Table and its GCC representative.

  • Dr Mark Wharton, Development Manager, Shell Iraq
  • Mr Mike Wenham, Commercial Manager, BP Iraq
  • Mr Bob Dastmalchi, Vice President, Business Development, Chevron
  • Mr Craig Jones, Deputy Director, Oil & Gas, Department for International Trade
  • Representative from the Ministry of Oil, Government of Iraq
  • Representative from the Ministry of Industry, Government of Iraq

 

Education and Training: ‘Developing human capital in Iraq’

The panel brings together leading representatives from academia and business to address the challenges of developing Iraq’s human capital to support its transition into a diversified, vibrant economy. Members of the panel have direct experience of challenges and advantages of delivering advanced education and training in-country.

Chair & Presentation: Professor Paul Boyle, President & Vice Chancellor, Leicester University

  • Mr Alex Haynes, Senior VP Business Development AMEA & Southern Europe, Wood
  • Mr Saadi Faraj Muthanna, Business Development Manager, Al Nukhba-OFS FZCO
  • Ms Christine van den Toorn, Institute of Regional and International Studies, American University of Iraq
  • Mr Will Follett, Director, Restrata

With a dedicated and well informed agenda, IBBC are bringing the experts and practitioners best placed to answer these questions, so the international business community can work towards framing the future and contributing to a modern and outward looking Iraq. Each session will emphasise the growing business opportunities for international companies.

For more information and tickets, please visit: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/spring-conference-2018/ or email london@webuildiraq.org.

Will Iraq’s new “Tribal Court” Undermine Rule of Law?

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

Amid Iraqi calls to reinforce the rule of law and strengthen Iraqi state institutions, the Ministry of Justice announced March 28 a new initiative for “arbitration” among tribes, allowing a team of tribal elders to intervene as arbitrators in resolving all possible disputes and conflicts between Iraqi tribes.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Justice, this team of 47 tribal leaders will be called “al-Awaref,” selected by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior in virtue of a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Justice and to be charged with several tasks, most notably reducing the expansion of tribal conflicts and focusing on “bringing about community peace” in Iraqi provinces.

The 47 arbitrators will work voluntarily and receive no salaries from the Iraqi state. In addition to undergoing a background check by the Ministry of the Interior, their names were presented to tribal leaders for approval.

A March 28 statement issued by the Ministry of Justice noted that the ministry “has adopted a team of well-known tribal arbitrators to resolve disputes,” describing them as “a safety valve for the community, which will have a major role in strengthening security and establishing community peace in all provinces of the country.”

Abboud al-Issawi, the head of the tribal committee in parliament and a staunch supporter of the initiative, told Al-Monitor, “[The initiative] will support the law, preserve tribal life and prevent any abuse by persons who have nothing to do with it and do not follow its religious and social criteria.”

Issawi said, “This initiative will neither be too different from Islamic law nor will it be contrary to human rights. In the coming phase, we will work on making it more organized and consistent with the work of the Iraqi state.”

The arbitrators will be allocated to different Iraqi provinces: four arbitrators in Baghdad, two in al-Karkh and two in al-Rusafa, while other provinces will be assigned either one or two arbitrators, all of whom will be directly affiliated to the Ministry of Justice.

Sarhan al-Fatlawi, a sheikh from al-Fatla tribe, told Al-Monitor, “Such a bill can be of use to highlight the role of tribes in building the community and supporting the Iraqi state, especially as Iraqi tribes have achievements throughout the history of the country. So we do not see any harm in such a bill that will put a stop to those who encourage tribal revenge.”

He added, “Tribal problems are aggressively developing into conflicts for simple and minor reasons, all because of those who considered themselves tribal sheikhs when — in fact — they were not. We believe that the tribal arbitration bill will be essential for tribes and will help end issues before they develop into armed clashes, such as those that occur in some areas of southern Iraq.”

Meanwhile, the arbitration initiative comes at a time when conflicts between the Iraqi tribes dramatically escalate, especially in the provinces of southern Iraq where conflicts are constantly evolving and involving the use of medium and heavy weapons.

According to activist and blogger Ibrahim al-Fatlawi, this bill was not welcomed by civil society, which considered it to be “propaganda” for political parties, undermining the work of Iraqi state institutions.

He told Al-Monitor, “We live in a country known to have enacted laws 7,000 years ago, so how can we accept projects and decisions that strengthen the power and influence of tribes within the institutions of the Iraqi state?”

Fatlawi expressed his surprise with “the lack of parliamentary action to undercut the work of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior through the tribal arbitration project, which will abolish the role of law little by little.”

The tribal arbitration initiative could violate the Iraqi Constitution, which stipulates in Article 45, paragraph 2, that “the state shall seek the advancement of the Iraqi clans … in a way that contributes to the development of society. The state shall prohibit the tribal traditions that are in contradiction with human rights.” Here lies the problem in some tribal traditions that violate the law and human rights principles.

Some of these traditions involve males preventing their first-degree female relatives from marrying someone else, should they wish to marry the females themselves. Other traditions that violate human rights include vengeance and separation, which give tribal sheikhs the right to determine how much money an offender’s family should pay to the victim’s family as compensation, in the event of any problem.

Rahman al-Jobori, a senior researcher at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, told Al-Monitor, “After thousands of years of Iraqi civilization, the state comes up with such an initiative for electoral purposes, instead of enacting a proper law approved by the state.”

Jobori said, “This project is substandard. The Iraqi state needs to work in accordance with international mechanisms for human rights and institutional work, and such an effort cannot enhance the role and authority of the law and treat everyone equally.”

It seems that the work of the team of arbitrators will be parallel to that of the Iraqi judiciary; the 47 arbitrators will form a committee and the conflicting parties can either resort to the judiciary or to the arbitrators who were introduced, in training courses, to the need to issue decisions that do not oppose Islamic provisions and Iraqi law.

GardaWorld Weekly Security Report

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

UNODC Launches Counter-Terrorism Programme

UNODC Launches New Counter-terrorism Programme in Iraq, To Open Baghdad Office

Within the framework of the fruitful cooperation between Iraq and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) officially launched today its new programme for Iraq (2018-2019) on the “Lessons learned from Iraq’s counter-terrorism efforts and response to future challenges: Iraq after Dae’sh”, and announced the plan to open an office in Baghdad.

The launch was made at a event in Baghdad under the patronage of His Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi. At the event, Iraqi representatives shared the lessons learnt and the best practices from fighting Dae’sh in Iraq.

Ending the scourge of terrorism and protecting people is a priority that concerns us all,” said UNODC Executive Director Mr. Yuri Fedotov. He added that this event was a testament to the strong partnership between Iraq and UNODC.

With the rise of terrorism in Iraq, UNODC multiplied its efforts in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance and capacity building assistance to its Government.

Also speaking at the event, Ms. Christine Albertin (pictured), UNODC Representative for Middle East and North Africa said: “Iraq suffered most from terrorism, being the greatest victim of terrorist activities in the region and a target of several terrorist groups and militants.

Ms. Albertin added:

“With the rise of terrorism in Iraq, UNODC has enhanced its response and multiplied its efforts in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance and capacity-building assistance to the Government by training of hundreds of competent law enforcement officers and criminal justice officers. As a result of these activities and capacity-building measures, important outcomes and substantial milestones have been reached like, for example, an increase in criminal justice investigators who have started using new investigation techniques and tools, better understanding of Special Investigation techniques, and the development of the methodology in obtaining and processing digital evidence. Together with the outstanding efforts by the Government, rates of mortality due to terrorism have dropped and schooling rates have gone up”.

The UNODC/TPB programmes for Iraq have been generously funded by the Government of Japan since 2014. Additional contributions from the Government of Denmark were received in 2017.

(Source: UN)

UNODC Launches Counter-Terrorism Programme

UNODC Launches New Counter-terrorism Programme in Iraq, To Open Baghdad Office

Within the framework of the fruitful cooperation between Iraq and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) officially launched today its new programme for Iraq (2018-2019) on the “Lessons learned from Iraq’s counter-terrorism efforts and response to future challenges: Iraq after Dae’sh”, and announced the plan to open an office in Baghdad.

The launch was made at a event in Baghdad under the patronage of His Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi. At the event, Iraqi representatives shared the lessons learnt and the best practices from fighting Dae’sh in Iraq.

Ending the scourge of terrorism and protecting people is a priority that concerns us all,” said UNODC Executive Director Mr. Yuri Fedotov. He added that this event was a testament to the strong partnership between Iraq and UNODC.

With the rise of terrorism in Iraq, UNODC multiplied its efforts in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance and capacity building assistance to its Government.

Also speaking at the event, Ms. Christine Albertin (pictured), UNODC Representative for Middle East and North Africa said: “Iraq suffered most from terrorism, being the greatest victim of terrorist activities in the region and a target of several terrorist groups and militants.

Ms. Albertin added:

“With the rise of terrorism in Iraq, UNODC has enhanced its response and multiplied its efforts in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance and capacity-building assistance to the Government by training of hundreds of competent law enforcement officers and criminal justice officers. As a result of these activities and capacity-building measures, important outcomes and substantial milestones have been reached like, for example, an increase in criminal justice investigators who have started using new investigation techniques and tools, better understanding of Special Investigation techniques, and the development of the methodology in obtaining and processing digital evidence. Together with the outstanding efforts by the Government, rates of mortality due to terrorism have dropped and schooling rates have gone up”.

The UNODC/TPB programmes for Iraq have been generously funded by the Government of Japan since 2014. Additional contributions from the Government of Denmark were received in 2017.

(Source: UN)

GardaWorld Weekly Security Report

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com