By Multi-National Division - North PAOOctober 29, 2007
BAQOUBA, Iraq - The Tamimi and Jibouri tribes, the two largest tribes in Iraq's Diyala province, met Oct. 24 to discuss the importance of reconciliation and signed a fellowship agreement stressing cooperation and friendship between the two tribes.
The top three Shia sheiks of the Tamimi tribe and the top two Sunni sheiks of the Jibouri tribe attended the meeting, which was hosted by Diyala's governor, Ra'ad Hameed al-Mula Jowad al-Tamimi. Six additional prominent sheiks from throughout the province were in attendance as well to discuss how reconciliation has improved their tribal areas.
Ra'ad, opening the meeting, thanked the tribes for attending and encouraged the leaders to discuss solutions rather than lay blame and focus on past grievances.
"Today we have to figure out how to control the terrorists," Ra'ad said. "How can we unite' How can we bring peace together'"
"The reconciliation that will have the most impact - not only in Diyala, but around the world - is the unity between the Tamimi and Jibouri tribes," said Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition Forces in Diyala, as he explained the influence the two tribes have on countries outside of Iraq. "This is your opportunity to impact and affect the world."
While the two tribes do not have serious issues dividing them, Sheik Aeman Kerhy al-Jibouri, a key tribal leader for the Jibouri tribe, acknowledged the fact that both tribes do have faults.
"There are corrupted people in both tribes," Aeman said. "And even if they aren't corrupted, they may be harboring terrorists. We (the tribes) have to stop the support for the corrupt."
"We need to watch ourselves, look inside and control our men," he said.
"We reject terrorism," said Sheik Mazen Rashed Hamed Mula Jawad al-Tamimi, a paramount sheik in the Tamimi tribe who has been the primary leader for the reconciliation movement in Diyala. "It is a disease for the world."
The fellowship agreement, signed by all leaders present, stated that they will cooperate in identifying tribal members who are corrupt or harboring terrorists, stop mortar attacks and in-fighting between Sunni and Shia villages and work honestly together on solutions toward a better future.
"We declare that all killings, clashes and kidnappings will stop," said Sheik Balassem Hamed Yehia al-Hasan al-Tamimi, Tamimi's paramount sheik. "We want to live in peace and enable our families into the future."
The leaders will also continue to meet to further the reconciliation movement across Diyala.
"We have many killed, but no matter what we do, we cannot bring them back," said Sheik Khaled Rashed al-Hamdani, one of the observers. "All we can do is worry about and take care of the living. We do this as a weapon to stand against al-Qaeda."
"We cannot clap with one hand," Aeman continued. "These two great tribes will act as one - one person, one tribe."
"And when Jibouri and Tamimi clap, the world will hear. All terrorists and all militias will be like insects caught between our hands," he said. "They will be crushed - crushed between the two hands of Jibouri and Tamimi."