Tribal leaders in Kirkuk: forming multi-ethnic force best solution

Baghdad, 18 September 2020 – a meeting between Iraqi President Barham Salih and tribal leaders from Kirkuk – Photo: presidency PR office

Soran Mohammad

Tribal leaders in Kirkuk have suggested to both the Iraqi President Barham Salih and the US Embassy in Iraq that forming a mixed force consisting of the different components of Kirkuk Province.

The tribal leaders made their suggestion to the president during a meeting with him on 18 September.

Usman Zangana, the chief of one of the Kurish tribes, told KirkukNow: “Conditions in Kirkuk have compelled us to go to Baghdad to meet with the president. We formed a delegation with our Arab and Turkmen brothers and informed him about the situation in the province.

We requested an attempt to be made to resolve the farmers’ lands issue before it reaches armed conflict. We complained about the Federal Forces not being neutral.”

Zangana added: “The president has decided to study the matter of forming a mixed force.”

A number of the tribal chiefs had also met with the US ambassador in Baghdad to offer the same suggestion.

Zangana said: “Our meeting at the US embassy a few months ago was at their request. At that meeting I said that Kirkuk’s people live like brothers, but unfortunately the force that controls this city, don’t come from the city.

The Americans asked what the solution is, I said the best solution for the current situation is forming a military force consisting of all the components of the province. As far as I know, the Americans have conveyed my message to the prime minister.”

The tribal chiefs are scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi next week to discuss the matter.

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