U.N. Secretary General says Sending
Peshmarga to Kirkuk was a Mistake
NEW YORK, — U.N. secretary general Ban
Ki-moon said that the deployment of Kurdish
Peshmarga forces in Kirkuk was a mistake.
Presenting a report at the U.N. Security Council Ban
Ki-moon said that his organization is concerned
about the situation in Kirkuk and the deployment of
five thousand Peshmargas in the past two months.
The secretary general called for a review of the
distribution of forces between the Peshmarga, Iraqi
army and the Americans in the provinces of Kirkuk,
Diyala and Nineveh. Ban Ki-moon said, “The situation
in the disputed territories is still uneasy and on
the night of February 25th around five thousand
Peshmargas had been sent to Kirkuk.”
Diyala province, a restive part of Iraq outside the
Kurdish autonomous region of Kurdistan but home to many Kurds.
The Diyala district,www.ekurd.netwhich includes a string of villages
and some of Iraq's oil reserves, is home to about
175,000 Kurds, most of them Kurdish Shiites.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon March 31, 2011.
The president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud
Barzani said at the end of his tour of Europe last
month that it was his order to dispatch the
Peshmarga to Kikruk to protect the civilians of that
area from extremist attacks.
But in his report, the U.N. secretary general said that the Peshmarga had
been sent without their knowledge and that the
Kurdistan Regional Government had only found excuses
to send those forces to tackle the threats in the
area. “This act,” said Ban Ki-moon, “is a violation
of the agreement reached by the security team that
was formed in Baghdad to maintain the security of
In his report, the secretary general stated that
Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and leaders of
Turkmen and Arab parties have asked for the
withdrawal of the Peshmarga forces from Kirkuk and
to that end negotiations are ongoing.
The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is one of the most disputed areas by the
regional government and the Iraqi government in Baghdad.
The Kurds are seeking to integrate the province into the semi-autonomous
Kurdistan Region clamming it to be historically a Kurdish city, it lies just
south border of the Kurdistan autonomous region, the population is a mix of
majority Kurds and minority of Arabs, Christians and Turkmen, lies 250 km
northeast of Baghdad.
Kurds have a strong cultural and emotional
attachment to Kirkuk,www.ekurd.net
which they call "the Kurdish
Jerusalem." Kurds see it as the rightful and
perfect capital of an autonomous Kurdistan state.
Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to
the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city
and other disputed areas through having back its
Kurdish inhabitants and repatriating the Arabs
relocated in the city during the former regime’s
time to their original provinces in central and
The article also calls for conducting a census to be
followed by a referendum to let the inhabitants
decide whether they would like Kirkuk to be annexed
to the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region or having
it as an independent province.
The former regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
had forced over 250,000 Kurdish residents to give up
their homes to Arabs in the 1970s, to "Arabize" the
city and the region's oil industry.
The last ethnic-breakdown census in Iraq was
conducted in 1957, well before Saddam began his
program to move Arabs to Kirkuk. That count showed
178,000 Kurds, 48,000 Turkomen, 43,000 Arabs and
10,000 Assyrian-Chaldean Christians living in the
Mosul, capital city of Ninewa province in Iraq, near
the border with Kurdistan region, lies 405 km north
of Baghdad. The Kurdish Yazidis are primarily ethnic Kurds located
near Mosul. Some 350,000 Yazidi Kurds live
in villages around Mosul near Kurdistan autonomous region border.
Compiled by ekurd.net from agency reports
Copyright ©, respective
author or news agency,
rudaw.net | ekurd.net | Agencies
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news
information on this page