Shipment delays expected due to elections in Iraq
Due to parliamentary elections in Iraq this week on March 7, the logistics community is bracing themselves to work around delays and vehicle restrictions in the country.
Security forces in Iraq are making necessary preparations to try to make sure polling runs as smoothly as possible. In the past years, there have been allegations of wide-spread voter fraud and ballot tampering as well as attempted terrorist attacks. This year, authorities are taking every conceivable measure to prevent any type of negative commotion. This will include no vehicles on the road between March 4-8, and the same applies to aircraft from March 4-9.
A mandatory curfew will be implemented on March 7-8, in addition to all government offices being closed on these dates. The lack of well-trained security forces in Iraq has made these type of restrictions necessary to try and prevent any further corruption and mayhem. But, while the threat of major attacks and the reality of equally lethal minor ones have dampened public campaigning, it has not derailed preparations by political parties and election officials for a March 7 vote seen as crucial to stability.
Even though a lot of security precautions are being taken for this week’s election, dignitaries are hopeful for a calm and peaceful event. Many attribute the hopefulness of a peaceful election to the fact that there will be no US troops involved in the election process. As in previous years, this year US troops will not be deployed to polling stations or to guard ballot boxes.
Move One operations in Iraq will proceed as normal even though the election will probably cause some delays. We are anticipating delays but the elections will not affect our daily operations.
This column was written by Robert Hass, Middle East regional manager for Move One, which has seven years of experience in Iraq, with five operation centres through out the country (www.moveoneinc.com)