Mayor bombed Hawija: help NL is nothing

Little has come out of the promised compensation to Hawija, the Iraqi city that was bombed by Dutch F-16s in 2015, with at least 70 civilian deaths. So says the mayor of the city, who is in The Hague for a peace conference.

The compensation was promised last year by Minister Bijleveld of Defence. The money was intended, among other things, to restore the destroyed infrastructure and promote employment. The Netherlands showed itself from its best side, says the mayor, โ€œbut nothing really happenedโ€.

The disappointment is great, says Mayor Sabhan Khalaf Ali:

The aid is coordinated by two United Nations aid organizations, but according to Mayor Ali, they are not cooperating transparently with local authorities. โ€œI dont know who theyre hooking up with, but its not with us. I dont know what theyre going to do either.โ€

This leads to a lot of disappointment among the inhabitants of Hawija. โ€œOur people have suffered a lot both physically and psychically. In addition, they have lost their possessions and are difficult to make ends meet.โ€ The mayor hopes to talk to politicians and officials about the aid to Hawija in the coming days.

Demissionary Defence Minister Kamp, the successor to the resigned Minister Bijleveld, wrote to the House of Representatives last month that the recovery operation has only just begun. In recent months, preparations have mainly been made, such as finding a contractor and assessing tenders submitted.