Halbja, the Fifth Kurdish Province
Three days ago, the Kurdistan Parliament accepted the draft law of the Administration of Halabja, the city of five thousand martyrs. At the moment, Halabja is the 5th Governorate of Southern Kurdistan. Providing public services for the city makes the people satisfied as much as making Halabja into a governorate. The people admit that their city has had services but not sufficient. This year, in the Region’s budget, a part of it is assigned for reconstruction of the city.
Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, on March 16th, 2014, as the PM of the Government of Kurdistan Region signed the draft to make Halabja a governorate. On September 30th, 2014, the Kurdistan Parliament with majority of votes made Halbja the capital city of peace. On December 12th of the same year, Mr. Massoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Region, approved of the Parliament’s decision.
Sitar Jutiar, a citizen of Halbja, said that now that his city is a Governorate and capital city of peace delight its people, but it is as very important the city is rebuild.
On February 5th, the Parliament had a subnormal meeting in Halabja Monument and with the majority of votes accepted the administration of the city. The decision made the citizens happy and they gave out sweets and wore Kurdish clothes as a celebration symbol.
Serkawt Erfan, anoth- er citizen, said that the decision of the Kurdish Parliament made them really happy and they thank them for respecting the martyrs of the city. He also said that all citizens of the city ask for an increase in public services. This year, in the whole budget of Iraq, 2 billion IDs have been assigned for the reconstruction of Halbja and have been accepted as the fifth Governorate of the Kurdistan Region. Besides the reconstruction, they have assigned 440 billion dinars for the investment and construction of the new Province. On February 5th, along the procedure of ratifying the draft of the making the city into a Governorate, Mr. Nechirvan Barzani announced, in a speech, that Halbja deserves much more service.
Shilan Sheikh Jaafer, a Member of Parliament on KDP list in Xebat, said that in terms of their sacrifice, Halabja city has not been served sufficiently. What has been done for the city was all after 2003 and the city’s borders need to be defined as well. She said that turning Halbja into a governorate made all sides satisfied but it is also important to provide services. She also mentioned that bringing back the General Directories for this city is needed so that the citizens do not go to Sulaymaniah for their paperwork and this too reduces the pressure on Sulaymaniah itself.
Ms. Shilan reiterated that the Government this year after getting the budget from Baghdad should start undertaking the projects that the citizens have asked for. She said that whatever projects are finished yet it is not enough.
The Halabja city is situated 84 killometers northeast of Sulaymaniah. The Provincial Council consists of 25 seats and up to now it is not entirely clear whether the Governorate will include sub-districts of Xurmal, Sirwan, Biyara together with Sayid Sadiq, Sharazur, and Penjwen too. Halbja’s population including Sirwan, Xurmal and Biyara districts reach 117, 000 people.