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Kurdistan

Local Official: Political Scores from Across Iraq Being Settled in Kirkuk

By RUDAW 20/10/2013
An Iraqi policeman man's a checkpoint in the multiethnic city of Kirkuk. On the blast wall behind him it reads in Arabic, 'The police are at the service of people'. Photo: Rudaw
An Iraqi policeman man's a checkpoint in the multiethnic city of Kirkuk. On the blast wall behind him it reads in Arabic, 'The police are at the service of people'. Photo: Rudaw

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Political disputes -- both local and from across Iraq -- are being violently settled in Kirkuk and adding to insecurity in the multi-ethnic province, complained Rebwar Talabani, deputy-head of its provincial council.

“Regional as well as domestic political affairs have a direct impact on the security situation in Kirkuk,” Talabani told Rudaw. “The groups try to settle their political scores in Kirkuk,” he said.

Over the past 10 years Kirkuk has suffered some of the deadliest attacks by insurgent and radical Islamist groups, who often target crowded markets and offices of political parties.

Talabani said that Kirkuk’s open borders were a problem, allowing freedom of movement to “terrorist groups.”

In the latest violence, seven people were killed and several injured in an attack on a game center in Tuz Khormatu. The provincial town lies in a swathe of territory that is claimed by both the autonomous Kurdistan Region in the north and the Arab central government in Baghdad.

Kirkuk lies in the heart of Iraq’s disputed territories, claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad. But the Kurds, with 26 seats in the provincial council, also occupy the main security and police positions.

Talabani said that, even though Kirkuk is under Baghdad’s jurisdiction, it has not received much support from the central government on improving security.

“The government sometimes does not support us,” he said. “The interior ministry, which is responsible for security, does not have any good security plans,” he added, complaining that local authorities themselves are left the task of drawing up a security strategy. “Now each province has to make its own security plans.”

Talabani said that a 3.5 billion Iraqi dinar project to dig a security trench around the city of Kirkuk, to reduce violence in the provincial capital, will mainly focus on areas connecting it with places like Tikrit and Hawija.

Kirkuk is within close proximity of Iraq’s predominantly Arab Sunni areas, which have been hotbeds of insurgent groups such as Ansar al-Sunnah and other al-Qaeda affiliates.

 

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PDK Kerkuk | 20/10/2013
All illegal Arab And Turkoman settlers who were brought from the tyrannic Saddam Regime to Arabize the Kerkuk province must be kicked out from Kurdish land. And all Kurds who were forced to leave Kerkuk must return. But the international community looks only to Palestine, Bosnia and other places, but nobody supports to bring back justice to the millions of Kurds who were killed, tortured and displaced in Kerkuk and other places of Kurdistan. Shame to the world! Kerkuk is and will be forever Kurdish, not even the Baath Regime with its massacres against the Kurds managed to change this fact and the new Iraqi government and Al Qaida terrorists will also not change that. Kerkuk dile Kurdistan!!!
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 20/10/2013
When Iraq was liberated, the Kurds made a big mistake not to include kirkuk directly under the control of KRG Administration. It was for the Kurds Strike while the Iron is hot! The Two Kurdish Political Parties should have had agreed on one thing "Kirkuk should be capulated at any price,no matter what the Americans thought! Actually the American asked the Kurds, what do you want, while Iraq was under the supervision of the American "Breemer" in command!The Kurds sadly asked the money, in stead of Kirkuk or proclaiming Kurdistan Region to be independant!Actually the American expecting this demand from the Kurdish leaders, it's the independancy rather than the cash money! Stil it's not too late for the Kurds to raise their voices " one Voice" to include Kirkuk to the KRG administration, you do not need to ask the permission from the outside World. Just do it what the Israëls is doing, annex the area's, and then start negotiations with Bagdad! Just do it the Kurds and do not hestitate, because it's our rights to do it, nobody will give the Kurds it's own rights, we need to do it right now!
Atheist | 21/10/2013
Article 140 is dead thanks to KDP and PUK rivalry! Kirkuk would have and should have been liberated in 2003. It was the bickering of KDP and PUK and their failure to come together and agree on powers sharing that left Kirkuk in limbo. Their claim that circumstances were not suitable is pure nonsense! They betrayed the people of Kirkuk and Kurdistan. In March 2003 KDP and PUK explicitly agreed that neither of them would enter Kirkuk because they could not agree on who was going to control it . That meant leaving Kirkuk to American/Iraqi control. For those who wonder why Kirkuk is left in desolation the undeniable truth is that KDP/PUK duo is directly responsible for this situation. True leaders take bold steps on matters of national security and interests. Our crooks only think of their pockets and those of their cronies and tribesmen. The sure fact is Iraq will never allow us to take Kirkuk peacefully and tomorrow is already too late.
ABDULLA MUHAMMAD | 21/10/2013
Kirkok in most simple words is not Kurdish or Arabic city it is Turkuman city or let say Iraqi multi athnic city and Iraq civil war will sparked from it ( I hope that it wiill not hapen!)
Atheist | 21/10/2013
@ABDULLAH: and if the civil war erupts which side would you take as a Turkmen? Iraq that has brutally suppressed you for decades or Kurdistan that has given you human rights and dignity for the first time in your history?
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