How will Baghdad plan for liberated Fallujah?

First, local government forces must be formed to manage the city’s security. Parliament was supposed to enact a law governing the National Guard, which allows each province to have its own local forces that are affiliated with the Iraqi security forces. The bill was strongly opposed by Shiite parliamentary blocs that viewed it as a prelude to the partition of Iraq. The government must find an acceptable version of this bill to be agreed upon by parliament. This bill would prevent sectarian sensitivities in Sunni hot areas like Fallujah toward the security forces coming in from the Shiite provinces.

The sit-ins staged continuously since April 2012 against the central government in Sunni provinces such as Fallujah demanded that troops affiliated with the central government leave — calling them the Safavid army or the Maliki forces in reference to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. As a result of these sensitivities, Hadi al-Amiri, a prominent leader of the Popular Mobilization Units, announced May 24 that those forces will not enter Fallujah and will only provide support to military forces from the outskirts of the city.

Second, the government must draw up a comprehensive and fast reconstruction plan for the city, including rebuilding the destroyed buildings, establishing strategic projects, providing job opportunities for local residents and bringing back the displaced to their cities as soon as possible. Reassuring the residents that their future is with the Iraqi state and that they will not face any acts of revenge is a proven method to rebuild trust between the government and the city residents. The government has failed so far to provide adequate support to the previously liberated areas and complete reconstruction projects.

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