International Information Programs

5 May 2003

Multi-Party Iraqi Interim Authority to Begin Work in May

U.S. Administrator says most public services to be operational soon

By Vicki Silverman
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington — U.S. civil administrator for Iraq, retired General Jay Garner, told reporters May 5, that he expects a group of Iraqi leaders to emerge in May to form the core of Iraq's interim government.

"By the middle of the month, you'll really see a beginning of a nucleus of an Iraqi government with an Iraqi face on it that is dealing with the coalition," Garner said.

Speaking with the press in Baghdad before traveling to the southern city of Basra, he said the leadership is expected to include Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party; Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress; Jalal Talabani of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Iyad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord; and Abdel Azziz al-Hakim, a senior official in the Iran-based Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Garner noted several other Iraqis might join this collective leadership group, which would become the point of contact for the Americans and others.

Garner announced that Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, a former U.S. diplomat who headed the State Department's counter-terrorism efforts, is expected to arrive in Baghdad next week to take over as U.S. civil administrator in Iraq. Garner explained that Bremer is expected to concentrate on Iraq's political process while he would focus more on reconstruction before departing Iraq.

Turning to reconstruction, Garner noted electricity in Baghdad was now running at 50 percent capacity but with the approach of summer, it was critical to increase capacity by repairing transmission lines.

"The month of May is a key month for getting all the public services stood up or at least prospect of being stood up and getting the law enforcement system back." While military action in Iraq had caused less damage to infrastructure and fewer refugees than anticipated Garner said U.N. sanctions were slowing Iraq's recovery.

Upon their arrival in Basra, Iraq's second most populated city, Garner and his team from the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA) visited the Basra General Hospital and discussed the needs of the institution with hospital officials. Journalists from international news services traveling with Garner noted the poor conditions of the hospital and reported shortages of medicines and anesthetics.

Newly named administrator for the southeastern Iraq, Danish Ambassador Ole Wohlers Olsen, said he would be traveling to Basra at the end of the week with cash to pay doctors' salaries and meet other commitments.

"We have now a very serious job in front of us in the most mistreated part of Iraq," Olsen said of the Shiite populated region. Olsen's appointment changes ORHA's original three-region administrative division of Iraq into four regions.

Information on Garner's visit was obtained from reports published by U.S. Central Command, which can be read at

Following is a more detailed assessment of coalition efforts to aid Iraq's recovery, released by U.S. Central Command May 5, 2003.


CAMP DOHA, Kuwait — Coalition forces continue to assist in developing a safe and secure environment in Iraq. Among recent developments:

  • Coalition engineers continue to assess and make recommendations for the repair of power, water and sanitation facilities damaged during Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as repair to those that had fallen into disrepair before the operation.

  • U.S. Army V Corps continues to remove stockpiled Iraqi ammunition from sites in Baghdad to prevent illegal use and black marketing. Over 150 truckloads of ammunition have been removed to secure coalition military sites outside of Baghdad where the ammunition is examined for serviceability. Unserviceable ammunition is destroyed, while the rest is held in reserve for training of the future Iraqi military.

  • In Safwan, five out of 14 schools have reopened, while in Al Zabayr, 48 of 60 schools have reopened.

  • The Kirkuk Government Building formally re-opened May 4, a significant milestone toward establishing civilian governance.

  • All five hospitals in An Najaf are now operational and accepting patients. Each hospital has its own functioning ambulance service.

  • Power has been restored to residents and businesses at pre-war levels or higher in nine of 27 key cities. All 18 hydroelectric power plants in Iraq are producing power at levels 80 percent or better than pre-war levels. In Ar Rutbah, Coalition engineers have restored the flow of power to the city from the Haditha Dam.

  • Water supply is at or above pre-war levels in 14 of the 27 key cities. Military Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units and wells now supplement Iraqi supplies by producing more than 300,000 liters of potable water daily.

  • Phone service between Basra and Amarah has been reestablished.

  • Order is being restored throughout the country with 19 of 27 cities now considered permissive. Police forces are operational in many cities, with joint Iraqi/Coalition Forces Police patrols successfully maintaining civil order. Fire departments are again operational in many cities. Several cities have freely elected town councils and mayors. Security provided by Coalition forces has allowed the U.N. international offices to relocate to Baghdad. Coalition forces, Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and Iraqis are working together to re-establish a viable legal/judicial system.

  • Another 250 Iraqi soldiers captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom were released after accepting parole. To date 3,426 have been paroled. Additionally, 3,217 have been released after determining they were noncombatants. Currently, approximately 2,600 enemy prisoners of war are being detained by the Coalition.

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