The Refugees Changed Kurdistan Region’s Demography!
Kurdistan Region, like several regional states, opened its doors for refugees and displaced people. This hospitality reflects the true positive picture of Kurdsitan with some undesired consequences:
Firstly: the international community has made clear that Kurdistan Region is a safe area, and has a high level of tolerance, humanitarian spirit and opportunity of coexistence. It has received the refugees and displaced beyond its capacity. This is considered as a politically productive and diplomatically successful policy.
Secondly: Kurdistan Region is threatened by security concerns and fears, demographic changes, worsening economy, disability to provide services and job opportunity for the people.
It was good that the Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, said honestly in a conference on February 12th in Hewler that the Kurdistan Region is under threat of demographic change. Within a year, the population has increased by 28% due to the war refugees from both Syria and Iraq.
The Prime Minister’s revelation is important. It’s true, Kurdistan Region is under the threat of a demographic change and security and stability concerns as well, because of the refugees’ sectarian and political alignment that some of their relatives could be involved with the radical terrorist groups, or they themselves could be under the influence of the developments due to some religious and sectarian factors.
It’s been a year salaries of people of Kurdistan are cut by Baghdad government; the people are confronting ISIS just like the Peshmerge, because all people here are against the ISIS, while the Baghdad government is against IS as an ethnic group. So even now this unified attitude of the Kurdish people against terrorism has not been appreciated. The Central Government wants to form Hashd Al-Shaabi (the local militias formed to combat ISIS).
The KRG Prime Minister hit on the nail! What power, economy, humanitarian capability can solve the problems of over a million and a half refugees and can provide them non-stop services? While Baghdad is the one responsible for protecting all those refugees. But instead, it carries on its political, economic and psychological pressures on the Kurdistan Region authority.
What about the disputed territories outside the Kurdistan Region in which Peshmerge are waging a crucial and fierce war against ISIS? Isn’t this a real humanitarian crisis that Baghdad and the international community are responsible for? Isn’t it a political crisis? Instead of supporting the Peshmerge to maintain the stability of these areas, the Baghdad Government considers deploying Shia militias to re-occupy the areas and carry on Arabization policy to change the demography of the local population.
Kurdistan Region is practically under a political and economical pressure, as well as forced demographic changes. Has the international community taken into account what would happen if this stable area face further crisis? Have they thought that the financial capability the Kurdistan Region will not last for long on the same level? It’s true that people of Kurdistan are all against ISIS, and has opened their doors to the refugees and displaced people, but the situation is energy-consuming. It’s not possible that sons of Kurdistan are martyred while some of the guests whistle for ISIS’s continuation, enjoying parties at night and sleep well in the daytime. Yes, it’s not possible that Peshmerge and their families are not getting their salaries while the refugees are provided with jobs in the safe places and behave irresponsibly besides.
There’s no doubt that the war is destructive. It seems to last for years in Syria and Iraq. Recapturing Mosul and the Sunni areas needs much time, which the Iraqi army and Shiia militias cannot do alone, contrary to what the Baghdad officials maintain. It needs the US and coalition ground forces, or the Arabic countries’ forces could achieve the task in case the Shiia-majority authority in Baghdad and Iran agree and give the green light.