Waves of protest against al-Maliki reach Kirkuk

Posted: January 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Scene from the protests - Photo: Karwan Salhi

Scene from the protests - Photo: Karwan Salhi

After more than a week of protests against the policies of the government of Nouri al-Maliki, a group of Sunni Arabs of Kirkuk held a protest for similar reasons on the first day of the new year, while each of the components has different thoughts about the protests.

Scene from the protests - Photo: Karwan Salhi

At the protest, which was held at 10 am in Ceremonies Square, the protesters showed their support for the demands of the protesters and the strikes of the previous protests in Anbar and Faluja, as the main demands are the release of the prisoners, employment, and improvements in the services.

Ismail al-Hadidi, one of the protesters told Kirkuk Now “We demand that the officials find solutions for the crisis which Iraq as a whole is struggling with,” as he also urged the government and the parliament to reach conclusions so civilians will not have to pay for their faults.

“We have participated in this protest on the demand of Muayad al-Izi, the coordinator of the al-Tajdid front which is led by Tariq al-Hashimi, and we protest against the arrest of the Ministry of Finance, Rafi’ al-Issawi’s personal guards.” Said Khalid Hussein, one of the sheikhs of al-Ubed tribe

On the level of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, the Kurds and Turkmen do support the protests while the Arabs describe the wave as being “Splinters and vandals.”

Muhammad Khdir al-Jburi, a member of the KPC told Kirkuk Now “We, as the Arabs of the council do not support the protests by any means, those protesters are not native Arabs.”

Al-Jburi further stated that the protests, which are led by the Islamic parties, are “Mercenaries of the neighboring Arab countries and that is why we do not the support it by any means and we are totally against it.”

While Ahmad Askari, a member of the KPC on behalf of the Kirkuk Brotherhood List stated “We, the Kurds do not have any troubles with the Sunni protest in Kirkuk.”  He further stated that the demands of the protesters are righteous and they show support for them.

Gulen Tepabashi, a Turkmen member of the KPC told Kirkuk Now “We, the Turkmen of Kirkuk, do not have any issues with the protests, as the protesters have the governor’s permission and the Turkmen support the protests.”

Scene from the protests - Photo: Karwan Salhi

While Nouri al-Maliki reacted and stated in his latest statement that they will not stand hand-cuffed against the protests which are fed by the foreign countries, while he gave promises to release a number of the Sunni female prisoners, which is one of the demands of the protesters.

During an interview on Monday, December 31, 2012 al-Maliki stated “There are plans of the foreign states behind the recent protests across the country” and describes the demands as “non-constitutional.”

Karwan Salhi & Zanyar Daquqi – Kirkuk Now

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