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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 16:20 UK

Viewpoint from Anbar province

Ahmed is a livestock trader in a town west of Ramadi, in Anbar province. He told the BBC News website what he thought about the transfer of Anbar from US to Iraqi control.

It won't make an immediate difference because the withdrawal [of US troops] will be gradual.

Map of Anbar province

We already have Iraqi police in my town. The people in control are policemen from the Awakening groups [Sunni Arab tribal groups which joined forces with the US to oust al-Qaeda].

Some of them who were in the Awakening joined the police and are now receiving salaries from the government.

The future relationship between the Awakening and the Iraqi central authority is what concerns us.

Until now the Americans have been the leaders in the relationship with the Awakening, but what will happen when they step down?

The government has problems with some of the Awakening groups in other areas of Iraq: Diyala, Baghdad.

The security situation is so much better now than it used to be, you can't compare it.

But the electricity supply is worse. Before, there was no control and no-one sent electricity from the dam at Haditha to Baghdad.

Now, there's more communication and responsibility, and so more electricity goes to Baghdad.

It's a big problem for agriculture; we don't have the means to irrigate crops because of the cost of diesel and the lack of electricity for the pumps.

What also worries us is the political future. In Anbar there are two kinds of community: the small towns and the tribes surrounding them.

The problem is, the Awakening - which represents the tribes - controls everything. They're better than the religious groups, but there's no representation from the towns, where the educated technocrats are.

They should be the people running the show. But when Iraq's provincial elections finally happen, it will be between the Awakening and the Islamic Party in Anbar.






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