ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi government-appointed governor of Kirkuk has been imposing Arabization policies against Kurdish villagers in the disputed province, the mayor of Sargaran claimed.
Luqman Hussein, Mayor of the Sargaran subdistrict of Kirkuk’s Dibis district, said in a statement on Tuesday that since the Iraqi government’s attack on Kirkuk and other disputed areas in October 2017, Arabs have been brought to the province from other regions.
“Since the Oct. 16 events, the Baghdad-imposed governor of Kirkuk brought thousands of Arabs to the Dibis and Sargaran areas,” Hussein said, adding that the Arabs have been armed and resettled in the Kurdish villages.
The mayor also said the governor’s latest decision prevents Kurdish farmers from harvesting their crops under the justification of disputed land ownership.
Hussein claimed 500 Kurdish villages in the areas of Dibis, Saragaran, Perde, Hasar, Shwan, Laylan, Trkalan, Daquq, and Topzawa face the threat of Arabization by the local authorities in Kirkuk Province.
The mayor called on the Kurdistan Regional Government and the two main ruling parties—the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan—to intervene and resolve the issue.
Goran Abdulla, a local Kurdish activist from Kirkuk, told Kurdistan 24 that following the Oct. 16 events, current governor Rakan Saeed has led a systematic process of Arabization and Shiafication of the contested region.
The resettling of 17,640 Arab families to Kirkuk city center threatens to change the demography of the city, Abdullah warned, noting that 3,024 of those families were brought from outside of the province.
As part of the governor’s plans for the upcoming elections, national IDs have been created for these Arab families, Abdullah told Kurdistan 24.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany