Hal­abja turns into the fifth Kur­dish Prov­ince

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Last Thurs­day, Kur­dish law­mak­ers held an ir­reg­u­lar ses­sion in the city of Hal­abja to de­cide to turn it into the fifth Kur­dish Prov­ince.

In a mes­sage to the peo­ple of Hal­abja, Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani said that it is not an achieve­ment to turn it into a Prov­ince, but it is a nat­u­ral right of the peo­ple to have their own Prov­ince.

PM Barzani added: “Hal­abja is the sym­bol of re­sis­tance of our peo­ple.” It has been known as “Martyr of Kur­dis­tan” by the peo­ple.

At the be­gin­ning of the ses­sion, the Par­lia­ment Speaker, Yusuf Mo­hammed, said that it is not only “his­toric” for the peo­ple of Hal­abja, but also for the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan as well.

In ad­di­tion, he said that the le­git­i­mate in­sti­tu­tions of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment ( KRG) de­cided to make Hal­abja into a Prov­ince.

Last year, Pres­i­dent of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Mas­soud Barzani, signed a bill to turn it into a Prov­ince.

Of­fi­cial Spokesman of Iraqi Gov­ern­ment, Saa’d Ha­dithi, said that the Iraqi cabi­net has agreed to turn Hal­abja from city into Prov­ince in the coun­try’s 2015 bud­get project.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Iraqi cabi­net, Ha­dithi ex­pressed his hap­pi­ness about the de­ci­sion.

Now, Hal­abja is the 19th Prov­ince in Iraq and the 5th Kur­dish Prov­ince be­sides Er­bil, Su­laimaniyah, Duhok and Kirkuk.

Yusuf Muhammed said that the de­ci­sion will at least par­tially heal the wounds the city has been car­ry­ing for years. “The peo­ple of Hal­abja will run it by them­selves and for them­selves.”

On March 16, 1988, af­ter two days of con­ven­tional ar­tillery at­tacks, the Iraqi planes dropped gas can­is­ters on the town. At least 5,000 peo­ple died as an im­me­di­ate re­sult of the chem­i­cal attack and it is es­ti­mated that a fur­ther 7,000 peo­ple were in­jured or suf­fered long term ill­nesses. Most of the vic­tims were Kur­dish civil­ians.

So far, Hal­abja with a pop­u­la­tion of 340,000 has been a dis­trict of Su­laimaniyah Prov­ince. It has had two rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Pro­vin­cial Coun­cil.

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