Border demarcation to trigger crisis between Muthanna, Thi-Qar?

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Border demarcation to trigger crisis between Muthanna, Thi-Qar?

Post by GottaDash on Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:03 am

MUTHANNA, July 10 (VOI) – Recent demands made by Thi-Qar province to demarcate its borders with neighboring Muthanna have sparked heated controversy in local circles, with local officials from both provinces holding firm on their stances.

Thi-Qar, which shares a border of over 300 km with Muthanna, calls to incorporate Busayyah city, 135 km southeast of its capital city Nassiriya and 250 km south of Muthanna's capital city, Samawa, into the province.
Speaking to Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq -(VOI), Muthanna Governor Ahmed Marzouk said that the disputed city has been affiliated with al-Salman district, Samawa, since the province was first established.
"We, Muthanna officials, are required to maintain the province's unity and not to give up any part of it," the governor noted, wondering, "Likewise, is it then possible for Muthanna to also include al-Bathaa district (30 km west of Nassiriya) in it?"
"We would be better off focusing on maintaining Iraq's outside borders instead of triggering internal border disputes inside the country," Marzouk added.
"A fact finding committee has been set up to follow up on the matter in accordance with the law and constitution, and procedures have been taken to address the Iraqi government and Parliament on the issue," the governor noted.
Meanwhile, Abdel Hussein al-Dhalimi, the chairman of Muthanna provincial council, said that the first and final word should be left to Busayyah residents, who have the right to decide to which province they want to be administratively annexed.
Meanwhile, Salah al-Shamri, the head of the legal committee in Thi-Qar provincial council, spoke of "cogent evidence" which he said shows that the city had been administratively affiliated with Thi-Qar before the former regime incorporated it into Muthanna in the 1970s.
"The problem of administrative borders with Muthanna began when a group of Bedouins asked our provincial council to dig artesian wells for them in Busayyah, and an approval has been granted to do necessary work in the area," according to Shamri.
"Muthanna has objected to the decision, arguing that the area is administratively annexed to it…A committee has been formed of council members to submit a recommendation to the Iraqi cabinet to demark borders with Muthanna and to include Busayyah," he added.
Thi-Qar, 380 km south of Baghad, has an area of 12,900 square kilometers (4,980.7 sq mi). In 2003 the estimated population of the governorate was 1,454,200 people. The province includes the ancient Sumerian ruins of Ur, Eridu, Lagash and Ngirsu. Before 1976 the province was known as al-Muntafiq.
Muthanna, 280 km south of Baghdad, borders Saudi Arabia. Its capital is Samawa. Prior to 1976 it was part of the al-Diwaniya province. Muthanna includes the ancient Sumerian ruin of Uruk, which is possibly the source of the name Iraq. On July 13, 2006 British, Australian, and Japanese forces handed over security responsibility for Muthanna province to Iraqi forces in the first such transfer of an entire province.

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