United Arab Front: Demonstrations not an option due to sensitivity of the situation in Kirkuk

Kirkuk- A press conference for United Arab Front officials concerning the situation in Kirkuk, November 2019  Photo: KirkukNow

KirkukNow- Kirkuk

The United Arab Front in Kirkuk says it believes the situation in the multi-ethnic disputed province Kirkuk does not allow for demonstrations similar to what Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces have been witnessing despite that public services seems to be worse.

In a press conference held on Sunday, November 3, representatives of the front expressed solidarity with protesters in other parts of the country and urged the government to provide essential services in Kirkuk.

“We can only show support to the protesters, but the fragile security situation in Kirkuk does not allow us to stage protests,” said Muhammed Saleh al-Rayashi, spokesman to the United Arab Front.

The concerns were revealed despite that the local administration in Kirkuk repeatedly stressed that the security situation in the province is stable and urged citizens not to fall for rumors.

Officials of the United Arab Front justified the break out of anti-government protests in Baghdad and elsewhere, citing deteriorating living conditions.

The local administration in Kirkuk not to take advantage of the situation

“We cannot achieve the demands of the people through violence,” said to al-Rayashi, who expressed confidence that “the will of the people will prevail and victory will be theirs.”

Kirkuk has witnessed peaceful rallies to express support to protesters in Baghdad and other provinces.

 The leader of the United Arab Front, Sheikh Wasfi al-A’si, emphasized that “no difference is seen between the Iraqi provinces in terms of essential services”, urging the local administration in Kirkuk not to take advantage of the situation. “The administration cannot persuade citizens through painting the sidewalks; they need real services,” he said.

On October 28, the Iraqi parliament voted to freeze the work of the provincial councils, as part of measures to curb large-scale protests which escalated in different parts of the country over deteriorating economic conditions and state corruption.



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