After two years of political turmoil in Nineveh, the appointment of the retired general Najm al-Jabouri as governor created a sense of optimism locally. Finally the province would be ruled by a popular and decisive figure who would restore a measure of public authority and legitimacy. However, this optimism is likely misplaced. Since the defeat of IS in 2017, an intense competition for influence among various parties and militia groups have overtaken Nineveh and undermined what little remained of local governing institutions. Regardless of the promising qualities and background of the governor, Jabouri will be constrained by the power of the political blocs that brought him into power at the expense of others. As a prisoner of the deal, his fate will likely resemble that of Adil Abdulmahdi at the national level: real power will reside outside his office, rendering him incapable of directing a coherent post-conflict stabilisation agenda.
This piece was co-published with the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This project was funded by with UK aid from the UK government.
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