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Sir Hilary Synnott
Sir Hilary Synnott, who died on September 8 aged 66, enjoyed a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service which culminated in his appointment as Britain’s High Commissioner in Pakistan in 2000; then in June 2003, 10 days short of his retirement, he accepted an invitation to become regional coordinator for southern Iraq, responsible for the civilian effort in the country’s four southern provinces, under the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
Sir Hilary Synnott Photo: COLIN MCPHERSON
In Bad Days in Basra (2008), his memoir of the six months he spent in Iraq, Synnott recorded, in devastating detail, the chaotic reality behind the CPA’s attempts to establish civic governance; the dysfunctional relationship between the two occupying powers, Britain and America; and lack of planning and support from the government back home.