ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An Iraqi Parliament member from the Shabak Kurdish minority recently called upon the Kurdistan Region President to include Shabaks in the independence referendum.
In a letter to President Masoud Barzani, Iraqi MP Salim Juma’a requested the inclusion of Shabak people from the Kurdistan Region and areas outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) administration in the independence referendum.
“Kindly approve the inclusion of Shabaks in the referendum and add the names of the people eligible to vote in the electoral commission’s list,” the MP said in the letter.
He added it would be an “honor” for their participation in the referendum to be held on Sep. 25, 2017.
In a separate statement on Saturday, Juma’a called upon all Shabaks to fully support the independence referendum and take part in the process.
He stated the time of war and difficulties was close to an end.
“Joining the Kurdistan state would be a survival from Da’esh and its affiliates,” the Kurdish Shabak MP said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS).
“But, if we remain part of the current Mosul [Nineveh Province] we will be facing more difficulties in our areas,” Juma’a continued.
The Shabak-populated areas in the Nineveh Plain are considered “disputed territories” between the KRG and Federal Government of Iraq.
Many Shabaks who had fled their areas and villages during IS’ attacks in Iraq in 2014 have now managed to return to their homes which have been liberated by Peshmerga forces.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany