SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region - The burial procession of the late Nawshirwan Mustafa, leader of the Change Movement (Gorran), is underway at the party’s headquarters in Sulaimani.
Mustafa, 73, passed away
on Friday after a long illness. Thousands of mourners are in the streets to pay their respects, many carrying signs saying, “Farewell to the leader of half a century of the Kurdish struggle.”
The local government in Sulaimani declared two days of mourning in the city and lowered the Kurdistan flag to half-mast on the government buildings to pay tribute to the deceased Gorran leader.
Representatives of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Change Movement (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal), delivered messages on Zargata Hill where the Gorran headquarters is located in downtown Sulaimani.
Qadir Hama Jan, member of the PUK politburo, read a message on behalf of the party, saying that “the Kurdish nation lost a great leader.” He praised Mustafa as the engineer of the 1991 Kurdish uprising against Saddam Hussein’s Baath regime.
In light of Mustafa’s death, he added, the PUK is determined to implement their landmark cooperation agreement with Gorran, which was signed in presence of the late Mustafa and the ailing PUK leader Jalal Talabani one year ago.
“We work to implement the Gorran-PUK agreement all the way to the reunification of the PUK and Gorran,” said Jan.
The leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and head of the Shiite National Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, Ammar al-Hakim, attended the burial procession and hailed the deceased Gorran leader as “an effective Kurdish and Iraqi leader.”
Salahadin Bahadin, leader of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) said in his party’s message that “by the death of Nawshirwan Mustafa, Gorran does not end.”
Leader of the Komal party, Ali Bapir, for his part, said “we never forget the great attitudes of Mr. Nawshirwan Mustafa.”
“We hope his death leads to our unity,” he stated.