The Iraqi government within the next few days will launch a new security plan to extend order and tranquility in Sadr city.
Audio report (available from the same link above for those who know the langauge) explains:
Sources that attended a meeting between PM Maliki and tribal chiefs of Sadr city told Radio Sawa that the two partis agreed to cooperate to launch a campaign to improve security and basic services in the city.
The campaign would include controlling the possession of weapons and limiting that to the official security forces.
The sheiks had also demanded that Malki orders aborting plans for future MNF raids on the city.
Al-Hurra had this tiny bit to add to the news:
PM Maliki met with tribal leaders of Sadr city to discuss the security situation…the sheiks hailed the PM's meeting with President Bush because they said "it was an effort in the interest of Iraq"
Obviously an ambitious plan and I can tell that Maliki is trying to exert more pressure on Sadr. But at the same time, if he wants to go ahead this plan-which will inevitably lead to confrontations between the militias and the government's armed forces-he must be prepared to rely exclusively on his own efforts and assets and not give much credit to what ever help or cooperation sheiks pledge to offer.
They said very encouraging things and made some promising gestures but I still wouldn't bet on their support, I hope I'm wrong in my judgment this time though!
The thing is that that's how most sheiks are, they sound friendly, reassuring and try to please you when they are your guests and in your territories only to do the exact same thing and make the same exact promises to your enemy when they return home.
Anyway, we'll see how it goes.
And by the way, I've been hearing rumors that Sadr is dead, and many emails are asking me to verify the rumor.
All I can say for now is that I can neither confirm nor deny the rumor, and I must add that the website on which the rumor first appeared is not a credible source.