The United Arabic Front (UAF) and the Turkmen National Movement (TNM) call upon Prime Minister Designate Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to preserve “the achievements” of October 16 events, requesting that he should not compromise on Kirkuk to secure premiership. Such call coincides with the Kurdish attempts to redeployee their forces to the province to jointly with the Iraqi forces secure the province.
The UAF and TNV request resulted from the ongoing negotiations to form the new Iraqi government, in which the participation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces including the Peshmerga in the security apparatus of Kirkuk and the other areas has been circulating.
We fully reject any agreement on Kirkuk in the midst of government formation
Nazm Shamari, deputy head of UAF, which consists numerous Arab parties, stated, “we want to deliver a message to Mustafa Al-Kadhimi; Kirkuk is not for sale, it is neither a subject to compromise nor is it a subject to harassment form the Kurds. We fully reject any agreement on Kirkuk in the midst of government formation.”
“The city enjoys a very stable security situation, we do not want to go back to square one, including the abduction of people by the Kurdish parties,” Shamari said.
Such claim is at a time when in the past two months a series of insurgents attacks, road side bombs, and explosions have been conducted by the sleep cells of the Islamic State group (IS) in Kirkuk, obliging the security forces of the city to be on alert.
Meanwhile, numerous members of IS have been arrested in Kirkuk, who have confessed they planned to carry out attacks. The increasing activities of IS has raised the concern of the security forces to a degree that they have asked central government for assistance.
The latest attack took place on Tuesday, April 28, when two suicide attacks targeted the intelligence headquarter in Kirkuk, resulting in the injury of four security members.
“Mustafa Al-Kadhimi should protect the achievements of October 16, 2017 events because it is a sacred and important history for us, Arabs. We would consider any Arab representative who would reach an agreement (on Kirkuk), would as traitor.”
The Iraqi government and the KRG claim Kirkuk and the other disputed areas. Article 140 in the constitution grounds for the determination of the status of the areas, which includes normalization process, holding censuses, and later a referendum to determine the fate of the areas. The article was constitutionally supposed to be implemented in 2007.
With the approach of the Daesh to Kirkuk, the Kurdish forces were deployed to city, allowing the Kurdish parties to enjoy full control of the city until October 16, 2017, when the Iraqi forces took control of the entire disputed areas at the order of the former prime minister Haider Al- Abadi.
The Kurdish Peshmerga started withdrawing from the areas after the eruption of clashes with the Iraqi forces, which resulted in the death of tens of Peshmerga.
Since then, the federal government administer the areas without the participation of the Kurdish parties.
The achievements of Haider Al- Abadi, that was the result of the enforcement of rule of law, must be preserved
Abbas Mohammed Bayati, deputy head of the Turkmen National Movement, stated, “Turkmen would by no means agree to bring back Kirkuk to pre-October 16 in the government formation negotiations. The achievements of Haider Al- Abadi, that was the result of the enforcement of rule of law, must be preserved.”
The Kurdish parties have requested for joint administration of the federal and regional governments in the disputed territories. However, it is still unclear how such issue will be addressed in the negotiations of the government formation.
Simultaneously, On Tuesday 28, the Iraqi Forces and the Parliamentary Committee of Security and Defense met and discussed the formation of a joint operation room in which the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will cooperate to combat the remnants of the Islamic State members, according to Nasr Harki, a member of the Security and Defense Committee.
Harki claimed, “in the near future, a new joint operation room will be created, that the security forces of the KRG including the Peshmerga will be part of.”
The Kurds should know that the administration and security apparatus of the city is the red line
Shamari insists on his stance and sends a message to the Kurds, “the Kurds should know that the administration and security apparatus of the city is the red line, both have to be under the hand of the federal government.”
The constitution, however, allows federal and regional government to jointly administer the areas under the order of the commander in chief until their fate is determined.
Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, head of Iraqi National Intelligence, was designated by Iraqi President Barham Salih to form the new Iraqi government on April 9, having the support from the Shia parties, the Kurds, the Sunnis. Al- Kadhimi’s 30 day constitutional mandate to form the government ends on April 9.