After Siege, Wall Sadr City’s New Oppression - 09.22.2008

VIDEO - Iraq, Baghdad/Sadr City – After the failure of many security plans proposed by the Iraqi government and US military strategists, a recent plan, hand-in-hand with the so-called “Surge,” was designed. It was a desperate attempt by the US and Iraqi military forces to control the Sunni-Shia militia. At the suggestion of military leaders, the Iraqi and US governments decided to build walls to separate neighborhoods and to control militias and insurgents from entering or exiting any neighborhood without passing a checkpoint. The first wall was built in Adhamiya, in April 2007. Despite protests and opposition, United States military and Iraqi National Guard forces began to erect a wall surrounding the neighborhood of Adhamiya. The people living in the neighborhood engaged in several demonstrations against building the wall, and even Prime Minister Maliki, a Shi’a critical of the neighborhood, publicly protested the plan. Despite his intervention and public discontent, the wall was built and finished by late April 2007.

These walls tend to be approximately 3 meters in height and made from concrete. In some areas the top of the wall is covered with concertina wire to prevent intruders from climbing over the wall. There are patrols set to guard the wall and they are present around the wall daily, and at all hours, to protract the wall from being attacked or bombed by insurgents.

Another wall built at end of April 2007, but this time in Ameriya, this wall is approximately 10 kilometers in length and again 3 meters high. In September 2007 yet another wall was built in the Saidiya neighborhood. The wall surrounding that district was 23 kilometers, and by the end of 2007 there were over 50 different walls built around different neighborhoods across Baghdad.

In May 2008 a wall was built in Sadr City after battles between the US military and the Mahdi Army. There are approximately two million citizens living inside the area now known as Sadr City, probably the largest single group impacted by one of Baghdad’s walls. Previously they could come and go via nine major entrances. Many shops were force to close because of the wall, the shop owners found they could not complete there work anymore due to the wall sitting just in front of their shops.

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Alive in Baghdad brought you a view of the Wall in Adhamiya and the Wall between Sho’la and Ghazalya and now brings you a view of the wall in Sadr City. If you appreciate the insightful content provided by Alive in Baghdad, which you won’t find anywhere else, please consider becoming a paying subscriber, or making a donation to Alive in Baghdad. You can also purchase Alive in Baghdad T-shirts and DVDs to spread the word!


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