Kurds and Sun­nis fu­ri­ous about an­nounc­ing four new prov­inces

New de­ci­sion might fur­ther put the coun­try in gen­uine dis­as­ter. Sun­nis and Kurds ac­cuse Ma­liki for the re­cent move and say it is for elec­toral pur­pose

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

The Iraqi gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion, to make four new prov­inces, made the Kurds and Sunni Arabs ex­as­per­ated, and made the Turk­mens ex­tremely de­lighted. The po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts be­lieve that this is a new bomb planted by Pre­mier Nouri al-Ma­liki as the leg­isla­tive elec­tions ap­proach.

The Iraqi gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion, to make four new prov­inces, made the Kurds and Sunni Arabs ex­as­per­ated, and made the Turk­mens ex­tremely de­lighted. The po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts be­lieve that this is a new bomb planted by Pre­mier Nouri al-Ma­liki as the leg­isla­tive elec­tions ap­proach.

Last Tues­day, Jan­uary 21, the Iraqi gov­ern­ment de­cided to make the dis­tricts of Touz Khor­matu, Talaa­far, Nin­eveh desert and Fal­luhaj new prov­inces. The first three dis­tricts are in­cluded within the dis­puted ar­eas, which their des­tiny and own­er­ship has to be de­ter­mined by their peo­ple through ref­er­en­dum.

It came al­most one month fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion to make the Kur­dish Hal­abja city a new prov­ince.

Khalid Sh­wani, a Kur­dish MP in Iraqi Par­lia­ment and head of le­gal com­mit­tee, posed a sta­tus on his of­fi­cial Face­book page, say- ing: “The de­ci­sion to make Khor­matu and Talaa­far is il­le­gal due to they are in­cluded within the Ar­ti­cle 140 bor­ders and con­sid­ered as dis­puted ar­eas. Nei­ther po­lit­i­cal nor ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions have to be made in those ar­eas un­til their des­tiny would be cleared.”

His post fur­ther read that the Kurds would stand against the de­ci­sion when the par­lia­ment dis­cussing the draft.

The Kurds now are placed in a risky cross­road be­cause they might lose Khor­matu which is be­long to the oil­rich prov­ince of Kirkuk. On the other hand, if they stand against it, then the Arab MPs would stand against mak­ing Hal­abja a prov­ince.

Ih­san Shamari, col­lege pro­fes­sor at Bagh­dad Univer­sity, told a Kur­dish news­pa­per that the bills in Iraqi par­lia­ment are passed ac­cord­ing to po­lit­i­cal con­sen­sus and com­pro­mise.

He fur­ther stated that if the Arab par­ties vote for Hal­abja to be a new prov­ince, then the Kurds should com­pro­mise and vote for mak­ing Khor­matu and Talaa­far new prov­inces.

How­ever, a Kur­dish col­lege pro­fes­sor sees the is­sue more from a sec­tar­ian prospec­tive, and said Ma­liki wants to es­tab­lish two prov­inces with a Shia ma­jor­ity within the heart of the Kur­dish and Sunni prov­inces in the coun­try’s north. Through this move, Ma­liki can es­tab­lish a very strong po­lit­i­cal and ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tion in the coun­try for him­self.

He ad­di­tion­ally de­clared that Ma­liki want to warn the Kurds that by ful­fill­ing the de­ci­sion, the Ar­ti­cle 140 would be au­to­mat­i­cally ex­pired.

The un­timely bomb which was tech­ni­cally de­signed to ruin the unity of the Kurds and Sun­nis would be re­sponded strongly by both sides.

Athil Nu­jaifi, Gov­er­nor of Nin­eveh, re­acted against the fed­eral gov­ern­ment at a press con­fer­ence a day af­ter, say­ing: “The de­ci­sion is to dis­trib­ute the prov­ince of Nin­eveh.”

He warned the Iraqi gov­ern­ment of an­nounc­ing Nin­eveh Re­gion, which would in­clude the two new prov­inces. He strongly ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki and said he wants to risk the se­cu­rity of Iraqi so­ci­ety for elec­toral pur­poses. He al­ways uses the [re­cess pe­ri­ods] to make his moves.

We have all, Nu­jaifi said, agreed to re­quest ei­ther the es­tab­lish­ment of an au­ton­o­mous re­gion or to de­mand the in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of the sit­u­a­tion of the Sun­nis in Iraq due to the in­jus­tice they are suf­fer­ing by the au­thor­ity.

On the other side of the coin, the Turk­mens ex­pressed their hap­pi­ness and wel­comed the Iraqi gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to make four new prov­inces.

At a press con­fer­ence, Zhala Naftchi, an MP and a mem­ber of Turk­men Front, said that the Turk­men com­mu­nity had been wait­ing years to hear such a de­ci­sion.

She said the dis­tricts of Khor­matu and Talaa­far have the re­quired con­di­tions to be­come new prov­inces. She fur­ther added that her front’s con­tin­u­ous de­mand to make those dis­tricts, two prov­inces was just to end the se­cu­rity and ad­min­is­tra­tive de­te­ri­o­rates.

It is no­table that Khor­matu con­sists of Kurd, Turk­men and Arab. The ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion is the Kurds and Turk­mens.

Sev­eral older men sit and talk in a tea house in the dis­trict of Hal­abja, which attacked by chem­i­cal weapon in 1988 un­der for­mer Iraqi Pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sein.

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