KIU official: political tension does not allow coexistence
The highest official of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) in Kirkuk believes the city of Kirkuk does not have any ethnic issues. “The hardline politicians are the issue,” Rebwar Saidgull said.
In this interview with Kirkuk Now, Rebwar Saidgull, head of the KIU’s 6th branch in Kirkuk says coexistence continues in Kirkuk and that the KIU has a ‘cemented relation’ with the other factions and religious groups.
KIU and other factions
Saidgull says while treating the others in Kirkuk, the most important thing is how to return the air of coexistence among the different factions of the city, and how to read the others. “This sort of mechanism is acceptable for the KIU, since you cannot shorten everything in slogans, because they should be turned into action.”
He says the since the city contains different factions and religious groups, the politicians should not make tensions between them. The city’s different factions have been living together for years, and “Strong relations are formed among them,” Saidgull said.
Forming unusual situations and creating ‘tensions’ have made coexistence less strong as in the past. “The politicians try to legitimatize their stagnated politics they have been doing,” he said. Saidgull also added that, “They say the issue of Kirkuk is ethnic. But it’s far from the truth. Coexistence among factions is lasting and they treat each other accordingly. That’s why I say if hardline politicians leave, Kirkuk wouldn’t have any ethnic issue.”
The KIU branch said they have a ‘very good relationship’ with the Christians, Arabs, and Turkmens of Kirkuk. “They feel at peace with us. We believe in having four factions in Kirkuk to make a new Kirkuk where a new identity among the factions is kept.” He says their relations are not built on the basis of politics. “Our aim is coexistence, and that’s why we say that we are practicing Kurdayati, not politics.”
KIU’s vision of the future of Kirkuk
Saidgull believes the future of Kirkuk is bound to some important things relevant to politics, economy and security. He said, “Now service is growing in Kirkuk. Projects are implemented in the Kirkuk neighborhoods without any discrimination, which pleased the people. It’s a step toward rebuilding trust among the different factions.”
KIU’s official does not expect the parlous security situation to be calm in near future. “There is no place free from the fear of terrorist attacks. No serious efforts have been spent to control the security of the city.” He believes that Kirkuk people should be asked when it comes to deciding on their future.
The KIU is a moderate Islamic party (now opposition) in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The party was founded in 1994, and opened offices in Kirkuk after the fall of the former regime. The KIU has changed four officials since in the Kirkuk office since 2003, and Saidgull has been working there since 2008.
Shalaw Muhamad – Kirkuk Now