AKRE, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - On Sunday, the people of Akre held a special festival in support of the upcoming referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region, calling for secession from the rest of Iraq.
The Kurdistan Region is set to hold a vote on Sep. 25. Top Kurdish officials have been trumpeting the people of the Kurdistan Region's right to peacefully and democratically decide on their future and that the international community should respect the decision.
Similar to other festivals held in cities and towns across the Kurdistan Region, crowds in Akre gathered to hold a special Newroz-like festival and show their support for the historic move toward independence.
Thousands of people took part in the momentous event which went on until late evening. Poems were read and national songs were sung in support of the Sep. 25 vote.
Akre is known by the Kurds worldwide as the capital of Newroz: the city holds a festival each year, celebrating with a torch procession to the top of the nearby mountain as a Kurdistan flag drapes a large portion of the peak.
The referendum will also be held in the disputed territories, with over five million people eligible to vote. Included in the list of eligible voters are the people of the Kurdistan Region currently living in the Diaspora.
Editing by G.H. Renaud