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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Kirkuk’s new administration revives notorious Arabization process

By Rudaw 29/11/2017
Iraqi forces took control of the city of Kirkuk on October 16 after Kurdish Peshmerga forces pulled out following soaring tensions over an independence referendum held by the Kurdistan Region on September 25 which included the oil rich city. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi forces took control of the city of Kirkuk on October 16 after Kurdish Peshmerga forces pulled out following soaring tensions over an independence referendum held by the Kurdistan Region on September 25 which included the oil rich city. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The capture of Kirkuk by Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces in October has reportedly given way to the revival of the Arabization policy once designed and practiced by Saddam Hussein’s regime that settled thousands of Arab families from southern Iraq in disputed territories.

“If Kurdish MPs do not address this problem quickly, achievements of Article 140 will be in danger,” an official with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said.

Mahdi Mubarak, director of Kirkuk Agriculture Department who fled to Erbil after the events of October 16 once oversaw the compensation of Arab families and the return of land they occupied to their rightful owners.

“The Arabs whose contracts we had cancelled for seizing peoples’ land have taken these lands back from their rightful owners and cultivated them again, especially in Dubz, Daquq and Yaychi,” Mubarak said.

According to Mubarak many Arab families who were helped to return to their provinces in southern Iraq following the 2003 regime change are now making a comeback to Kirkuk under the protection of Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces.

“Formerly settled Arabs have again cultivated some of these lands this year and expelled their Kurdish owners on them. They now own them and work with their old contracts and Baghdad is facilitating this for them,” Mubarak said.

The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appointed a new governor in Kirkuk immediately after taking the city last month and now, said Mubarak, the returned Arabs are asking Baghdad through the new governor to give them back ownership papers of lands taken from them through the implementation of Article 140.

These areas include the fertile farmlands of Dubz, Kirkuk, Daquq and Yaychi.

“These contracts were cancelled in accordance with section No. 4 of article 140 in 2007, and the lands were given back to their owners. They (the Arabs) are now asking the agriculture departments of these places not to recognize these decisions, even putting pressure on them in some places,” he claimed.

The committees formed to implement article 140 worked in Kirkuk for six years. They gave tens of millions of dollars in compensation to the Arabs brought to the area during the former regime’s Arabization campaign of 1975-2003.

According to figures produced by Kirkuk Agriculture Department, more than 1.2 million acres of agricultural land was returned to their owners who were mostly Kurds and some Turkmen.

“Arabization is on the rise in Dubz,” Majid Mahmud, Kirkuk provincial council member, said. “Many Arabs have returned to there, and we are monitoring the situation. They have benefitted from current conditions. The ministry of agriculture in Baghdad makes many decisions that favor settled Arabs.”

Mahmud believes that at least 300,000 acres of land is estimated to have fallen back into the hands of the Arabs.

 

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Muraz Adzhoev | 29/11/2017
The Kurdish MPs and officials in Baghdad will formally be complicit in this criminal arabization process, economic, social and military sanctions, because they still remain the integral part of the already illegitimate Iraqi parliament and the hostile Iraqi executive federal authorities, which purposefully carry out the anti-constitutional policy against the Kurdistan Region’s authorities and the People of Southern Kurdistan. The lack of decisive political, legal, diplomatic and military actions in the KRG’s and Kurdistan Region Parliament’s policy actually has been leading to Erbil’s “silent recognition” of Baggdad’s overwhelming dictatorial Iraqi-Iranian power over Southern Kurdistan. This is not an acceptable and reasonable policy at all. It is necessary to struggle for freedom and independence of Southern Kurdistan by appropriate and adequate means, not senseless statements and useless calls for “peaceful constructive dialogue” with Baghdad.
B | 29/11/2017
KDP PUK fault
COMMUNIST | 30/11/2017
thank you puk for liberating bagdad mosul and karkuk with kurdish blood and handing it over to iran. you will get your own star in hollywood hall of SHAAAAAMEEEEE baghdad was under kurdish rule for more than 5 years after saddam fall these genius einstiens handed it over to iranian bacha bazi mullahs.
Josh | 30/11/2017
Why is PUK making pleas they are the ones handed Kirkuk to Hashd and Iraqi army, they are part of the plot to arabize Kirkuk.
Where are You? | 30/11/2017
Shame on you KRG! With your inability to defend the homeland, you have become a disgrace to the Kurdish Nation. Where is that young, strong and patriotic Peshmerga to stage a Coup and take control of the nation?! Where is our Kurdish "Ataturk"?! The nation is longing for one.
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