Maysan Governorate

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Time zone IST (UTC+3)
Main language(s) Arabic

Maysan (Arabic: ميسان) is one of the governorates of Iraq. It is in the east of the country, bordering Iran. Its capital is Al Amarah, which sits on the Euphrates River. The second settlement is Majar Al-Kabir. Before 1976 it was known as Amara Province.

Maysan is a majority Shia Arab province. Its population suffered greatly during the Iran-Iraq War, during which it was a major battlefield, and subsequently post the 1991 Shia Uprising. The governorate is traditionally home to many Marsh Arabs.

In 2003 it came under the control of the UK Armed Forces after the invasion of Iraq, and an elected Provinicial Council has now been formed. Majar Al-Kabir was the site of the death of six British Royal Military Policemen in 2003, and Al-Amarah became a well-publicised city in the British press when a rash of street fighting occurred in the summer of 2004.

A proposal to join Maysan with the neighbouring governorates of Basra and Dhi Qar to form a southeastern state in an eventual Iraqi federation is currently in the talking stages.[1]

In October 2006 the region of farmland and marshes has been a chokepoint for munitions and people entering Iraq from Iran. Political control has been fiercely contested by followers of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr. Mr. Sadr’s allies dominate the 42-member provincial council, and the governor is a former Mahdi Army commander. But the police chief is a former Badr Organization member, and many of his policemen pledge loyalty to that militia.[2]

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