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Iraqi Press on Baghdad Wall
by juan cole (reposted)
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 7:12 AM
The USG Open Source Center paraphrases Iraqi press stories on the plan to build a wall around the district of Adhamiya (A'zamiyah) in Baghdad:
Iraqi Media Highlights Al-A'zamiyah Wall Construction Story, Cites Reactions
Iraq -- OSC Report
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 T14:13:33Z

Iraqi media has increasinlgy highlighted reaction to the construction of Al-A'zamiyah wall and the positions of key players in Iraq as well as citizens of Baghdad. According to Iraqi reports, US troops began building the wall around the predominately Sunni district of Al-A'zamiyah in Baghdad. The wall, which is comprised of reinforced concrete blocks, each of which weighs more than six tons, will be 5.4 km long. The general tone of Iraqi reporting is negative and critical, with some outlets media outlets comparing it to the Berlin Wall and the containment wall first implemented by Israel's former Prime Minister Aiel Sharon, while others opine that it is a sign of a failed US policy to curb sectarian violence in the city. Click here to view a map of the district of Al-A'zamiyah in Baghdad.

Wall of Al-A'zamiyah

Baghdad Al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic -- Independent, private news and entertainment channel focusing on Iraq, run by Sa'd al-Bazzaz, publisher of the Arabic-language daily Al-Zaman leads its 1300 GMT newscast on 23 April with a report on "a huge demonstration staged in Al-A'zamiyah City to protest the establishment of the wall which the Iraqi security agencies in cooperation with the US forces have started to erect on 10 April to isolate the city." The report notes that the demonstrators carried banners calling for removing "the concrete blocs and barbwire which they said have turned the area into to a big prison."

Demo in Al-A'zamiyah

On the official Iraqi position on this development, Al-Sharqiyah notes "conflicting statements by Iraqi security officials in charge of the security plan with respect to their knowledge of the construction of the construction of this wall. Staff Lieutenant General Abbud Qanbar, commander of the Law Enforcement Plan, denied the existence of this wall. However, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki confirmed that it does exist. Proof of this is that he requested in a news conference with the Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa halting construction of this wall."