PM Barzani ordered formation of committee for Kurdish territories outside Kurdistan Region control

The spokesperson also said Kurdish and Arab parties will start talks at the Kurdistan Region level and work on this issue at the local and international levels.
Peshawa Hawramani, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). (Photo: Kurdistan24)
Peshawa Hawramani, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). (Photo: Kurdistan24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – Peshawa Hawramani, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), on Wednesday told Kurdistan24 that Prime Minister Masrour Barzani ordered the formation of a committee for resolving the issues of Kurdish territories outside the Kurdistan Region control.

The spokesperson also said Kurdish and Arab parties will start talks at the Kurdistan Region level and work on this issue at the local and international levels.

"The main objective of the committee is to normalize the situation in these areas, protect the rights of all communities, restore stability, and implement Article 140," Hawramani added.

Backed by Iraqi forces and Kirkuk’s acting Governor Rakan Jabouri, and following the withdrawal of Kurdish Peshmerga forces in 2017, resettled Arabs have stepped up their attacks and harassment against Kurdish villagers.

In a campaign dubbed Arabization, the former Iraqi Ba’athist regime in the 1970s and 1980s displaced thousands of indigenous Kurds and Turkomen in Kirkuk and its surrounding areas, and replaced them with Arab nomads from other parts of the country.

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sought to change the demographics of the oil-rich province, which the Kurds have claimed for decades.

Bolstered by Saddam-era ownership documents, the resettled Arabs seek to reclaim 18,000 dunams (1,800 hectares) of Kurdish lands in the area. To refute the Arab migrants’ claims, rural Kurds cite Ottoman Empire-issued ownership certificates.

Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Kurdish parties fought hard to include a clause in the new constitution to reverse decades of systemic Arabization. They demanded the “normalization” of these areas through a compensation scheme for resettled Arabs.

Each resettled family has received about 20 million Iraqi dinars (about $16,000 at the 2007 exchange rate) to move back to their places of origin.