Ramadi Residents Hit Out at Police

By Dawood Salman in Ramadi (ICR No. 104, 28-Jan-05)

Ramadi Residents Hit Out at Police

By Dawood Salman in Ramadi (ICR No. 104, 28-Jan-05)

Friday, 18 November, 2005

Violence has long been a problem in Anbar, but residents are worried the instability will worsen as the January 30 elections approach. Anbar is home to Ramadi and Fallujah, two of the most insecure areas in Iraq.

Hameed al-Ani, 40, complains that criminals are so unafraid of law enforcement authorities that they loot and steal right in front of the police, who take no action.

“The police can’t provide security for people of this area,” said al-Ani, who lives in Anah, in the north-western part of the Anbar governorate.

Jihad Salih, 38, accused the police of often making a situation worse, such as when they try to organise lines of people queuing for fuel at stations in Anah. The chaos has improved, Salih said, only since resistance fighters have taken over, ensuring everyone gets their share of petrol, which is in short supply.

Another man interviewed by IWPR said the police were corrupt, and therefore deserved the frequent attacks they get from by insurgents.

Police officer Fadhil al-Duleimi hit back, saying it was unfair to criticize the police since they were trying their best to help and protect residents. “But we are an easy target for the resistance who see as being with the Americans and not with the people,” said al-Duleimi.

Another police officer, Abi Khalid, admitted that continuing explosions at police stations had contributed to a breakdown of law and order in Anbar.

Haditha resident Ghaith al-Duleimi said relations between the general public and police were a problem, as people’s confidence in the security forces had deteriorated.

“Explosions have made the situation very jumpy, to the extent that people don’t know where to go when they face a problem,” he said.

Dawood Salman is an IWPR trainee journalist in Iraq.

Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq
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