A group of civil society activists in Khanaqin, a disputed district in Diyala have launched a signature-collecting campaign to put pressure on Iraqi authorities to implement article 140 of the constitution which sets the ground for the settlement of issues on disputed territories between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The campaign started on July 15 from central Khanaqin’s Kirindi Square and will move to Kalar, Sulaimaniyah, Erbil and other cities.
“The campaign is aimed to implement article 140 of the Iraqi constitution which we believe is the best solution to normalize the situation in the disputed territories,” said Lami’a Muhammad, member of the (Love and Peace) committee organizing the campaign.
She added that a large number of citizens are participating in the campaign, indicating that they will send a copy of the signatures to the UN “to put more pressure on the federal government to implement article 140 and restore the national identity of Khanaqin.”
Article 140 states it is the responsibility of the Iraqi government to "accomplish normalization and census and conclude through referenda in Kirkuk and other disputed territories the will of their citizens.
Adnan Mansour, director of the office tasked with the implementation of article 140 in Khanaqin, speaking to KirkukNow, said “ Such campaigns are important, yet I don’t believe it will make a serious pressure on the federal government because the mentality needed to implement the article does not exist in the government, and they will always try to create obstacles for its implementation.
Earlier, the Iraqi parliament allocated 50 billion Iraqi dinars from its 2019 budget bill for the implementation of the article, while financial compensation for families included by the article resumed after a 5 year-long halt.
However, Adnan Mansour said the budget is not sufficient to cover compensations; moreover, Khanaqin has not been included in the budget.