Diyala Governorate

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Diyala Governorate
ديالى
Governorate
Location of Diyala Governorate
Coordinates: 33°53′N 45°4′E / 33.883°N 45.067°E / 33.883; 45.067Coordinates: 33°53′N 45°4′E / 33.883°N 45.067°E / 33.883; 45.067
Country  Iraq
Capital Baqubah
Area
 • Total 17,685 km2 (6,828 sq mi)
Population (2011 [1])
 • Total 1,443,200

Diyala Governorate (Arabic: ديالى Diyālā‎ and Kurdish: Parezgay Diyala) (or Diyala Province) is a governorate in eastern Iraq.

Provincial Government[edit]

  • Governor: Omar al-Humairi[2]
  • Deputy Governor: Mohammed Jassim al-Jubouri[3]

Council[edit]

Party Seats Ideology
United Accord and Reform Front in Diyala 9 Sunni Islamism
National Iraqi Project Gathering 6 Sunni Islamism
Kurdistan Alliance 6 Kurdish Nationalism
Iraqi National List 3 Secularism
State of Law Coalition 2 Shia Islamism
National Diyala Alliance 2 Shia Islamism
National Reform Trend 1 Shia Islamism
Total 29

Geography[edit]

Diyala Governorate extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border. Its capital is Baqubah. It covers an area of 17,685 square kilometres (6,828 sq mi).

A large portion of the province is drained by the Diyala River, a major tributary of the Tigris. Because of its proximity to two major sources of water, Diyala's main industry is agriculture, primarily dates grown in large groves. The province also contains one of the largest olive groves in the Middle East.[4] It is also recognized as the orange capital of the Middle East. The Hamrin Mountains pass through the governorate.

Population[edit]

In 2003, it had an estimated population of some 1,224,000 people. Arabic-speaking Shias (43% of total population) and Sunnis (29% of total) comprise about 72 percent of the governorate, Feyli Kurds (about 26 %, predominantly in the Khanaquin, Mandali and Kifri districts), and Iraqi Turkmen (about 2%). Around 72% of the population live in the major cities: Baqubah, Muqdadiyah and Khanaqin.

The population as estimated in 2003 is as follows:

District Baqubah Al-Muqdadiya Khanaqin Al Khalis Kifri Balad Ruz Total
Population 467,895 198,583 160,379 255,889 42,010 99,601 1,224,358

Districts[edit]

Cities and towns and villages[edit]

Infrastructure[edit]

The Diyala Province also boasts the Diyala Media Center which has one of the Middle East's tallest radio and television antennas at 349 metres (1,047 ft). The Diyala Media Center was built under contract by a Japanese architectural firm in 1989. It is one of Iraq's few independent radio and television stations that offer local television and radio news coverage as well as rebroadcasting state-run television.

Civil unrest[edit]

There is evidence that Al-Qaeda in Iraq has recently[when?] moved its base of operations from Anbar province to Diyala. During late 2006 Baqubah and much of the Diyala province were reported to have come under Sunni insurgent control.[6] This insurgent control is reported to have continued through 2007 and into early 2008.[7]

On May 11, 2007, Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the Multination Division North said he needed more troops in order to contain the current level of violence in the Diyala province, this coming in the recent wake of a troop "surge", involuntary recalls by the U.S. military, and the public debate about the level of commitment from the U.S. government.[8] By mid-2007 the Islamic State of Iraq, already holding Baqubah and most of the province under its control, declared its capital to be Baqubah. There is already strong evidence the Islamic State of Iraq has moved most of its command and control operations to Diyala.[citation needed]

In June 2007, US forces launched Operation Arrowhead Ripper with night air assaults in Baquba. By August 19, Baquba was largely secured, although some insurgent presence remained in the city and surrounding areas.[citation needed] Fighting continued in the Diyala River valley but by the beginning of October, US and Iraqi forces held most of the province while the insurgents were in retreat to the north and west. Diyala is still a contested province. On October 27 the Islamic State of Iraq attacked a police base in Baqubah, killing 28 Iraqi policemen and police recruits, showing that insurgent cells still remain in the province.[citation needed]

In January 2008 Operation Phantom Phoenix was launched in an attempt to eradicate the remaining insurgents following the Diyala province campaign between 2006 and 2007.

Mid-2008 saw many changes in Diyala province with an increased effort by U.S. Forces and a substantial Iraqi Army presence, and in the Baqubah region, Al Qaida in Iraq activity was dramatically hampered, and the Sons of Iraq program served only to further weaken Al-Qaida in Iraq.

Declaration of Autonomy[edit]

In December 2011, the governing council in Diyala province declared itself a semi-autonomous region within Iraq.[9] This comes two months after Salahuddin Governorate made a similar declaration. The council in Diyala, using Article 119 of the Iraqi Constitution as justification, made the declaration because of suspicion of the Shi'a-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Unlike Salahuddin province however, Diyala province is more religiously mixed, and such an announcement led to the outbreak of protests in the province.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Citypopulation.de
  2. ^ http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=57137
  3. ^ http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/11/iraqi-deputy-governor-sentenced-for-armed-attacks.html
  4. ^ Biggest Olive Groves in Middle East – in Diyala
  5. ^ "Republic of iraq (IQ): Asia/Iraq/Diyala". Tageo.com. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  6. ^ Engel, Richard (December 27, 2006). "Reporting under al-Qaida control". Blogging Baghdad: The Untold Story (MSNBC). Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  7. ^ Engel, Richard (January 17, 2007). "Dangers of the Baghdad plan". Worldblog. MSNBC. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  8. ^ "DoD Special Security Operations Briefing with Maj. Gen. Mixon from Iraq". News Transcript. U.S. Department of Defense. May 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  9. ^ "Iraq's Diyala province demands semi-autonomous status". Xinhua. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Hammoudi, Laith. "A second Iraqi province seeks autonomy from Baghdad". Miami Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 

External links[edit]