BAGHDAD – The governor of the southern Iraqi province where Ground Self-Defense Force troops are deployed has expressed disappointment over their limited activities, an Iraqi daily reported Monday.
It is the first time a top government official in the province has publicly expressed frustration over the GSDF troops, which have limited their work due to a deterioration in the security situation.
“I am disappointed with Japan,” Mohammed Ali Hassan, governor of Al-Muthanna Province, said in an interview with the al-Sabaah, a leading daily in Iraq.
Hassan was quoted as saying that GSDF activities have been limited to the reconstruction of some schools and hospitals.
He also said people in the province do not feel Japanese or Dutch troops stationed there have engaged in substantial activities, the newspaper said.
Japan has deployed about 550 troops in Samawah, the capital of the province, on a humanitarian aid mission. The troops are helping to rebuild local infrastructure, purify water and provide medical relief, Japanese government officials say.
As for the recent violence in the area, including a car bomb attack in late June, Hassan said they have been conducted by people who came in from outside the province.
He added local police have arrested five Saudis in connection with the attacks. He did not give specifics about their alleged activities.
$3.68 million for water Japan will provide about $3.68 million in grants to the waterworks department of Iraq’s Al-Muthanna Province to purchase 26 water tank trucks and 304 water tanks, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The trucks and water tanks will be used to provide clean water, to be treated in five sets of water purification equipment Japan pledged in June, for about 90,000 people, the ministry said.