Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

Reopening of KRG-Iran border crossings does not include Kolbar routes

By Rudaw 6/1/2018
The Iranian government said in late December it had planned to develop the local economy in Kurdish areas of the country in an effort to put an end to the issue of semi-legal cross-border porters. Photo: Rudaw
The Iranian government said in late December it had planned to develop the local economy in Kurdish areas of the country in an effort to put an end to the issue of semi-legal cross-border porters. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A decision by the Iranian government to reopen border crossings of Haji Omaran and Parvezkhan with the Kurdistan Region did not include crossings for Kurdish Kolbar, the cross-border porters, thus border stores that are full of goods and commodities remain closed.

Mustafa Shawri, a laborer working in the area says “all the stores are full of goods. If some of them are not used or obtained by the consumers, they will expire and be thrown out.”

The Kolbar are semi-legal porters who carry heavy loads of goods on their backs across the mountains from the Kurdistan Region to Iran.

Iran reopened the major border crossings of Haji Omaran and Parvezkhan last week which had been closed by Tehran since mid-October.

The commodities, preserved at the stores and expected to be imported to Iran and are made in China, consist of electronic goods, clothing and household appliances.

Azad Mohammed, another laborer in the area said the closure of the Kolbar roads have largely damaged them.

“People have been largely affected and damaged by the closure of the Kolbar crossings. The commodities are not selling,” Mohammed criticized.

The Iranian government said in late December it had planned to develop the local economy in Kurdish areas of the country in an effort to put an end to the issue of semi-legal cross-border porters.

“It is an ugly fact for us that there is still a Kurd who is a Kolbar,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Iranian National Security Council told reporters, explaining that Tehran has taken certain decisions to solve the problems of the Kurdish areas. He said the Iranian plans will focus on creating jobs for the western provinces located on the border with the Kurdistan Region by developing trade exchange between the two sides

Aram Hassan, spokesperson of the Parvezkhan border-crossing told Rudaw that he was informed by Iranian authorities that they would end the Kolbars working on the borders.

Hassan said he was also informed that Tehran would work to provide job opportunities for the kolbars on the borders and help transfer of the goods by vehicles and subjecting them to costumes fees.

Some Kolbars are licensed by the Iranian government, though even they often face harsh treatment from border guards. Smuggling is outlawed. Some Kolbars smuggle banned goods like alcohol across the border.

The Kurdish provinces of Iran are among the poorest in the country, suffering from years of underdevelopment.

Villagers on the border have been doing this work illegally for years but in mid-2016, Iranian authorities announced they would issue special licenses to allow the transport of goods on foot without the risk of being stopped by border guards.

The Iranian government considers unlicensed Kolbars to be smugglers involved in an illegal economy, bringing weapons and drugs into the country and posing a threat to Iranian security.

At least 167 Kolbars died in 2017. Hundreds more were arrested, fined, or wounded by Iranian border guards, according to the France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).



4076 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Falco | 9/25/2018 10:35:59 PM
A hand holding a tulpe in itself is disgusting enough on a flag but everything else said tops any recipe for misery and humiliation.
independence | 9/26/2018 5:03:54 AM
Jalal Talabani has created PUK for personal ambition and to divide Kurdistan, his wife and children have sold Kerkuk to Iraq in October 2017.The PUK...
KRG Election 10 Questions: Vote PUK for stability, says candidate
| 11 hours ago | (3)
Heviya welat | 9/25/2018 7:50:19 PM
The independence voting was one of the greatest ever in the Kurdish history. We, as Kurds used our rights to seperate from our dictator. But the so...
Parvez | 9/26/2018 3:28:21 AM
No, I cares for you. Separate country is not a good idea but i support your right to develop and flourish. I urge Iraqi leaders to provide each Iraqi...
Fellow Kurds, why blame yourself for wanting independence?
| 21 hours ago | (13)
FAUthman | 9/25/2018 3:07:39 PM
If you think the Kurds lost Kirkuk and the disputed territories to Baghdad, think again. These were classified as disputed territories by the UN and...
Parvez | 9/26/2018 3:21:48 AM
I have no doubt that Kurds and Peshmerga are brave but it is not wise to break the countries. The main objective should be to develop Kurdistan...
Critics of Kurdistan’s historic independence vote remain misguided
| yesterday at 09:41 | (9)
fig | 9/25/2018 12:15:59 PM
Trump just tweeted "“I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely...
Parvez | 9/26/2018 3:06:29 AM
Mr.Barzani wanted to create a country Kurdistan with the support of USA and Israel but he failed to do so.Now, terrorists want to create a Kurdistan...
Pompeo: US seeking 'Iraqi national government' to counter Iran's influence
| yesterday at 08:59 | (5)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

A week on, refugee agency trying to repatriate bodies of Kurds from Turkey 16 hours ago |

A week on, refugee agency trying to repatriate bodies of Kurds from Turkey

Turkish police have arrested six smugglers in more
Kurdistan independence referendum: Was it worth it? 19 hours ago |

Kurdistan independence referendum: Was it worth it?

Did its consequences merit holding the referendum more
Parliament speaker stresses national consensus on presidency in talks with PUK 20 hours ago |

Parliament speaker stresses national consensus on presidency in talks with PUK

Halbousi “insisted on the importance of getting more
1.171 seconds