Mandali council members forced to cancel referendum plan

September 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm

The road between Khanaqin and Hamrin mountains (Hawre Azad, Summer 2017)

Hawre Azad

A group of Shia militia from Asaib ahl Haq, an Iranian backed group, raid the Mandali council building on Monday and forced the members of the administrative council to cancel the plan for their sub district to take part in the upcoming Kurdistan referendum. The force also put pressure on the members of the council to remove its head and the town mayor.

The incident occurred on Monday 11th of September when a group of the armed militia forced the members of the council to hold a meeting and cancel the decision to participate in the referendum, a Kurdish member of Diyala provincial council told Kirkuknow. The militia are considered to be close to former prime minister Nouri Maliki.

Both the head of Mandali council and the mayor of the town are Kurds and have been in their position for over ten years.  “Eight members of the 13 council members were ready and under duress they were forced to change the decision to participate in the referendum,” the Kurdish council member of Diyala who did not want to be named said.

Mandali like Khanaqin, Jalawla, Qaratappa, Jabbara, Sadiya which are considered the disputed territories in Diyala province have asked to be included in the Kurdistan referendum.

Masoud Barzani and majority of Kurdish parties announced on 7th of June that a referendum for independence will be held on September 25. Because of the political and security issues, the polling boxes of Sadiya will be located in Khanaqin because most residents of Sadiya are still displaced.

In most of the disputed areas in Nineveh, Diyala, Kirkuk and Salahaddin have requested to take part in the Kurdistan referendum despite opposition from Baghdad and the international community.

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