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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Under threat Kakai Kurds plead for protection in Kirkuk

By Bahroz Faraidun 25/6/2018
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Farhad Agha, a prominent Kakai Kurd, was kidnapped in early June from Zanqar village in Daquq, south of Kirkuk.

Farhad's fate remains unknown. Rudaw's Bahroz Faradedwn visited Kirkuk to investigate and speak with those know Farhad best and were close to him when he was abducted.

About 50 families reside in Zanqar.

"No one knows what’s happening, brother. You don’t know who your enemy is. If you could come here… This is the agha’s house," Kwexa Saman Ibrahim, a Zanqar resident said.

He says Sunni Arabs from neighboring areas were relocated there.

"They approximately have brought 10-15 households from Diyala or Hawija. I don’t know from where. They are Arabs. Supposedly there were gonna protect him. These are gangs, brother. They were the ones who sent Farhad Agha away and sold him," added Ibrahim. 

He explains that police are supposed to help the Kakais fortify their positions by digging trenches.

"Yes. They brought caravans, supposedly for the Hashd and the Federal Police to establish some positions. This is their program. When is it [going to be implemented]? I don’t know," said Ibrahim.

Some Kakais have joined Hashd, while others remain affiliated with the Peshmerga, although after the federal takeover on October 16, security in the area is the responsibility of Baghdad.

Ibrahim reveals when Farhad was kidnapped, he had 10-15 men with him, along with children and women.

"They came at night, restrained him and took him," said Ibrahim.

"These are all experts. These are backed. They have vehicles. They have good weapons. You know it was only recently that ISIS was eradicated from the area. They have regrouped for these fights," he added.

Locals believe ISIS sleeper cells are responsible for Agha's kidnapping and the deteriorating security situation.

"By God, they have movement my brother. You can’t say they don’t," said a local man.

Some of the Kakais places of worship have been destroyed.

At an abandoned Kakai base in Tobzawa, locals are worried that the Hashd forces have left.

"There is no force around us," said a man. "We protect ourselves."

They take watch at night, but hide their weapons from Iraqi forces during the day.

"Peshmerga controlled about 50 km here, so no one could come," explained one guard. "Now, there are no Iraqi security forces and terrorists and ISIS are close

"We will stay with guns at eight or nine lookouts, ready to fight any terrorists. We are guards at night, and during the day we hide our guns. During the day police come and bother us."

Beston Sarhad Kakai founded the Kakai Yarsan Organization in Daquq to better try to protect the ethno-religious group's identity.

He says nothing is being done in Baghdad or on the international level.

"We have tried, but Kurds do not have any power to be heard," said Beston. "I think there is an ethnic problem here. Otherwise, why don’t they come and protect Kakai villages?"

Farhad's immediate relatives now are staying in the Wasit neighborhood of Kirkuk city, waiting for news of Farhad's fate. Farhad's brother Faruk was present when Farhad was abducted.

"We called Iraqi police forces. They did not come and we did not have a gun. ISIS forces found my brother and ransacked his house. They took my brother along with five drivers. They also stole a car," said Faruk.

He explained that 40-50 men in black masks with military shoes were responsible for Farhad's abduction.

"Farhad was asleep. Also Iraqi police only permit one Kalashnikov. But ISIS forces had heavy arms. The ISIS forces had mortars, light machine guns, and lots of rifles," added Faruk.

As Iraq tries to build a new government and is set to hold provincial elections later this year, locals want security.

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