A project that two governments denied to sponsor

Al-Qush-Shekhan 2-way street upgraded to 2-lanes

Ninewa, 2022: The main road between al-Qush district and Badriya division in northern Mosul. Ammar Aziz

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

The main road linlking Al-Qush sub-district in Ninewa province to Sheikhan district of Duhok Northern Province is to be turned into two lanes following several years of pressure and protests of the locals as the two federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG were negotiating which to fund the cost of the project.

The High Committee for the Reconstruction of Mosul, which belongs to the prime minister's office, on May 8, ordered the Ninewa Roads and Bridges Directorate to estimate the cost of the construction for the second side of the main road and present all its requirements.

"We have received the approval of the reconstruction committee through the Ministry of Reconstruction and the governor of Ninewa to make the road two-sided. The project is scheduled to be completed in two phases this year," Sharif Sulaiman, an Ezidi member of the Iraqi parliamentMP, told Kirkuk Now.

He says 90 people have been killed and injured in traffic accidents on the road in the past two years alone.

We have been victims between the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments

"The residents of Al-Qush, Faida and parts of Tilkif and Sheikhan districts travel through this road, which is the road of about 100 villages, in addition to the daily traffic of thousands of large trucks to the border gate of Ibrahim Khalil and vice versa," Sulaiman added.

The road, which runs along the Ba'adre division to al-Qush and to the Badriya division in northern Mosul, is about 22 kilometers long and less than six meters wide.

“The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said it was the duty of Iraq to make the road two-sided, while the Iraqi government said it was the duty of the KRG so we have become victims between the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments,” said Raid Mansour Qaia, Mukhtar (representative) of Al-Qush.

Al-Qush sub-district is located in Tel Kaif district, 40 km north of Mosul. It includes 34 villages and three compounds while some of the residents of the district are still displaced.

Its population was over 60,000 until mid-2014 before the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS, some of whom migrated to the United States and Europe. The majority of its residents are Christians, with Ezidis, Kurdish and Arab Muslims at the outskirts.

regay alqosh (2)-1

Ninewa, December 2021: Five members of a family died in a traffic accident on the main road of Al-Qush. KirkukNow

The district administration has sent five separate letters to the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments in the past four years to make the road two-sided, as it is a trade route between Turkey and Iraq.

"We are afraid to leave our homes to the outskirts of the city because of this road, it is a crowded and narrow road, so it should be made two-sided as soon as possible so that people do not become victims,” Qaia added.

On December 24, 2021, five members of an Ezidi family from the villages of Sheikhkan and al-Qush were killed and three others were injured when their car collided with a truck.

A day after the incident, a number of citizens whose areas are located on the road, held a protest demonstration and blocked the road, against the lack of solutions and continued everyday traffic accidents, per reports by KirkukNow.

More than 100 people have been killed and 200 injured in traffic accidents on the road

"People in our areas are becoming victims every day on this road. Our area is within the boundaries of Article 140 of the constitution and both the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi government should take care of the projects and make the road two sides," said Dilo Khidir, an activist a civic activist from Alqush.

The young activist and about 10 others are running a pressure campaign on social networks to solve the problem of Al-Qush main road.

"Since 1978, more than 100 people have died and 200 others have been injured in traffic accidents on this road," Khidir told KirkukNow. The group have visited many clerics to lobby for expanding the road.

The areas along the road are disputed between the two governments under Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution.

Sabah Samir, spokesman for the spiritual leader of the Ezidis, told KirkukNow that the governor has been promising to repair the road for a long time Side.

In 2020, more than 8,186 traffic accidents were registered in Iraq, excluding the Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI, including 232 accidents in Ninewa province, where 112 people died and 178 injured, including 20 accidents in the district of Tilkif in which 14 died and 18 injured, according to official figures by the Iraqi government.

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