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Joint Communiqué Reached Today by a Governing Council/Coalition Delegation and a Delegation of Fallujan Local and Civic Leaders

Agreed Statement of 19 April

Following the initial meeting on 13 April 2004, the parties met again on 16, 17, and 19 April 2004 to consolidate progress made towards the achievement of a full ceasefire and a peaceful resolution of the situation in Fallujah.

All parties welcomed the improved situation in the city and committed themselves to take all possible measures, with all relevant parties, to implement a full and unbroken ceasefire, which they call on parties to faithfully observe. They recognize that in the absence of a true ceasefire, major hostilities could resume on short notice.

The parties agreed, that as a sign of goodwill, and to improve the humanitarian situation in Fallujah, Coalition Forces will allow unfettered access to the Fallujah General Hospital, to treat the sick and injured. The parties also agreed to arrange for the removal and burial of the dead and the provision of food and medicine in isolated areas of the city. The hours of the curfew will also be shortened so that the curfew will begin at 2100, rather than 1900 each night so that believers may fulfill their religious duties. Measures will also be put in place to facilitate the passage of official ambulances through the city, especially through checkpoints. Steps will also be taken to allow security, medical, and technical personnel access to the city to work. In due course, consideration will be given to allowing additional civilians to enter the city, beginning with fifty families per day commencing on 20 April.

In an initial effort to restore security in the city, the parties agreed to call on citizens and groups to immediately turn in all illegal weapons, illegal weapons defined as mortars, RPGs, machine guns, sniper rifles, IED-making materials, grenades, and surface-to-air missiles and all associated ammunition. This collection has begun and the parties discussed ways to turn the weapons over to the Coalition. Those who give up their weapons voluntarily will not be prosecuted for weapons violation. Unarmed individuals will not be attacked.

The parties also agreed on the pressing need of restoring regular and routine patrols in the city by joint Coalition Forces / Iraqi Security Forces. The parties will oversee the reformation of the Iraqi Police Force and ICDC in the city on an urgent basis. These forces will be bolstered and improved. They will be formed primarily from residents of Fallujah, who are best placed to guarantee security in the city. The Police and ICDC, supported by the residents of Fallujah and Coalition Forces must move to eliminate remaining foreign fighters, criminals, and drug users from Fallujah, in order for stability and security to occur.

The parties agreed that Coalition Forces do not intend to resume offensive operations if all persons inside the city turn in their heavy weapons. Individual violators will be dealt with on an individual basis.

The parties reaffirmed the absolute need to restore law and order in the city as quickly as possible, to rebuild the judicial system, and to initiate thorough Iraqi investigations into criminal acts committed in the city in this period of instability, which includes the killing and mutilation of the four American contractors and the attack on the Iraqi Police Station in February.

To implement these undertakings in a practical, efficient manner and to avoid any misunderstandings, the parties expect to intensify their consultations on security issues. These consultations will include leaders of the city, local security professionals, and representatives of the First Marine Expeditionary Force. For a reasonable period of time, the progress on the agreed upon issues will be monitored on a daily basis. Progress must be clearly demonstrated and the return to law and order observed. Time to settle this crisis peacefully remains extremely limited. The status quo is not acceptable.

The consultations began on April 19 and will continue daily to resolve issues. The parties in attendance agreed to remain in constant touch and reconvene as necessary, but in no case later than April 25.



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