photo: Eddy van Wessel


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lack of Kurdish unity endangers future disputed territories

Unity between the Kurdish parties is essential for the future of the disputed areas, says Nasreddin Saeed, the minister heading the General Board for Kurdistani Areas Outside the Kurdistan Region. These are generally known as the disputed areas that both the Kurds and Baghdad claim.

Saeed warns that Sinjar, the disputed Iraqi province that was for the most part liberated from the Islamic group ISIS in December, could fall apart.

Sinjar (or Shingal) was until the occupation by ISIS in August 2014 administrated mainly by Baghdad. Here ISIS murdered almost 2,000 members of the Yezidi population and kidnapped over 6,000 when it overran the area.

After the liberation, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has put in its own local government and police, but forces that were involved in the liberation have not yet left. Amongst them are not only Peshmerga troops of the main Iraqi Kurdish parties KDP and PUK, but also fighters of the Turkish Kurdish PKK and some Yezidi militias.

Saeed sees this as a major obstacle why Yezidis are hardly returning home to Sinjar – whilst in a comparable situation in Ramadi inhabitants have -- stressing that “after liberating the place, the forces should go and leave it to the people. Because of them, people are afraid of a new conflict.”
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