It is ever so open to question whether the Kurds in Iraq will be able to exercise the right to self-determination in accord with the UN Charter. Monday’s referendum must be significant not least because they enjoy a high degree of autonomy within the fractious country.
For far too long have they contended with a subordinate status despite the fact that the Kurds have played a critical role in the fight against IS(Islamic State).
The overwhelming swathe of Iraq is opposed to the vote. The United States, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Arab League have been against the referendum. The collective fear is embedded in possible destabilization and turmoil in Kurdish secessionism and more ethnic divisions. Not least because the vote covers the territories that the Kurds have gained in the battle against IS. This is an explosive issue between the Kurds and the government in Baghdad. The outcome of the referendum is not binding.
The road to freedom will entail an “enforceable deal” on sharing oil revenues. This was agreed upon after the Iraq war in 2003. Despite the fact that several countries are ranged against Kurdish independence, the reality must be that this ethnic segment can’t languish in permanent subjugation.