Rebwar Talabani: Abadi continued Ba'ath regime’s demographic change in Kirkuk

“The Iraqi Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi] violated Article 9 of the constitution by resorting to military means to resolve political issues just like the former Ba’ath regime.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Head of Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) has accused Iraq’s outgoing prime minister of implementing demographic change in Kirkuk and resorting to military means to resolve political disputes.

During a press conference in Kirkuk on Monday, KPC Head Rebwar Talabani said Iraq’s outgoing PM Haider al-Abadi violated the Iraqi Constitution, imposed military measures on the disputed province and resorted to a policy of demographic change.

Talabani called for the cancelation of all military procedures and the punishment of those officials responsible for the Oct. 16, 2017, events and the incidents that followed.

Last October, in response to the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum, Iraqi forces and the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias attacked Peshmerga in Kirkuk and other disputed areas, ousting the Kurdish forces that had previously fought alongside them in the war against the Islamic State.

The Kurdish official called on Iraqi authorities to hand over the security dossier to the civil authorities. The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services have been leading the dossier since October 2017.

Talabani also called for the suspension and cancellation of all measures and decisions that Kirkuk’s current administration made and which the oppressive institutions implemented. He also demanded compensation for all the people who suffered during the Oct. 16 events and in its aftermath.

“The Iraqi Prime Minister [Abadi] violated Article 9 of the constitution by resorting to military means to resolve political issues just like the former Ba’ath regime,” Talabani stated.

“The KPC has been in contact with all the relevant authorities in Iraq, including the presidency, parliament, Council of Ministers and even the High Supreme Court to normalize the situation in the province,” he added, noting that all his calls have either been rejected or neglected.

According to the Kurdish official, Iraqi military authorities have restarted and accelerated the process of demographic change which former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had initiated.

Talabani explained that during the past year, Iraq’s outgoing prime minister and other ministers “collaborated with the current unconstitutional and illegal administration to facilitate the demographic change.”

“Due to the military actions, hundreds of people were killed and wounded, and 150,000 people were displaced to other areas in the Kurdistan Region.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany