Kur­dish ref­er­en­dum

The Jakarta Post - - OPINION -

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.

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