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Newly established party seeks autonomous Sunni region in Iraq

By Rudaw 13/5/2017
Osamah al-Nujaifi speaking to Rudaw TV.
Osamah al-Nujaifi speaking to Rudaw TV.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region— The creation of a Sunni region in Iraq’s Nineveh Plains is said to be the main objective for a newly established Sunni faction which held its first meeting in Erbil Friday.  

Members of the new group, called United Iraqi Party, voted unanimously for the party’s agenda to set up a second region in Iraq similar to the Kurdistan Regional administration north of the country. 

“We will work for a united Iraq and a Nineveh Region in which the rights of all peoples are respected. The rights of the Sunnis must be respected too. In the recent months, over 2000 Sunni Arabs have been abducted,” said the party’s new leader Osamah Nujaifi who is also Iraq’s vice president.   

Iraq’s Sunni leaders have in the past shown support for an autonomous region in Nineveh with Mosul as its capital, which they have long been championing. 

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has openly supported the formation of a Sunni region but Erbil also shown support for the return of Kurdish territories in Nineveh in case of a “Yes" vote at a future referendum which is hoped to determine the status of the contested territories outside KRG.

“We chose Erbil since most of the Mosul refugees are in Kurdistan Region, it would have been difficult to meet in Baghdad because of political and security issues that most of our members could face in the Iraqi capital,” said party official Khalid Mafraji. 

In July last year, the Iraqi parliament endorsed a bill which would effectively empower the provincial capitals in the country in their relation to the central government in Baghdad and would grant them lawful means to create semi-independent regions with considerable political and administrative powers. 

The decision was of particular importance for the Sunni population of Iraq who have long sought their own autonomous region.

“The first thing now is to focus on reconstruction of Mosul which has bee devastated by the ISIS war. And when the extreme unemployment and poverty are addressed we will then move on to set up the Nineveh Region within a federal Iraq,” said party official Ali Rubaiei.


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Anil | 13/5/2017
Should be established
PC | 13/5/2017
Notice the same pattern since 2003, the Sunnis have more or less cleansed their regions of Kurds Christian's and all other minorities. They first did it under the guise of the 'sectarian war' 2004-2008 through Al-Qaeda and other radical Sunni groups, then through ISIS. This latest attempt through ISIS they tried to grab a big chunch of Kurdish territory but fortunatly failed, now they'll take the Nineveh planes which is considered Christin/Yezdi/Shabak
Big Bang | 13/5/2017
oh the irony! some christian parties and militias are raising the Iraqi flag and yelling how "they much prefer be part if iraq" well the sunnis will now take your beloved ninveh planes and turn it into a SUNNI region LOL
Concerned Assyrian | 13/5/2017
So it wasn't enough they drove us out of Mosul and Bagdad now they'll take our last territory!!!? Where's the UN! where's the EU! where's NATO???
vlog | 13/5/2017
We should support this initiative if the Sunnis officially agree to return of all Kurdish territory in Nineveh province. A mini population swap should also be part of the deal. The same should be reached with the Arabs of Kerkuk Diala and Salahedin province

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