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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  8.8.2012   

August 8, 2012 -  Sulaimaniyah, Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Maliki and Barzani yet to sign peshmarga-army agreement

Erbil: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Kurdistan's President Massoud Barzani have not signed the joint deal of the Iraqi Defense Ministry and Kurdistan Ministry of Peshmarga (Border Guards). Since the officials are yet to approve the seven-point deal prepared by a joint committee from both ministries, the Iraqi army has not withdrawn from Zummar district, said Peshmarga Ministry Spokesperson Jabbar Yawar. On July 27 a force from the Iraqi army was intended to be deployed along the Iraqi-Syrian border line in Nineveh province. However, the peshmarga forces prevented the advance of the army, saying the area is under their control. Tensions between Erbil and Baghdad escalated following peshmarga's prevention. Yawar said there is no improvement in the situation and Iraqi troops and peshmarga are still positioned against each other.

Kurdish region charged of pressing Baghdad for further submissions, MP

Baghdad: State of Law MP Shakir al-Daraji charged the Kurdish region government to press the central government for further submission contrary to the constitution. He expected that the differences between the two sides will negatively affect the Reforms Committee and its expected solutions. Daraji called the political blocs to "depart from inciting crises and resort to the constitution for political reforms". The National Alliance announced last month the formation of 7-member committee to prepare the Reforms Paper and resort to constructive dialogue. Iraq witnesses an escalating crisis since the last few months that reached its peak in the last two months.

Barzani: Kurdistan will become self-sufficient in fuel and electricity

Erbil: Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said that the policy of his government aims at self-sufficiency for Kurdistan in fuel and electricity generation. The PM made the remark during a meeting in Kurdistan Parliament for discussing the creation of a Supreme Negotiations Council for settling disputes with Baghdad. Barzani said it is a while Baghdad government is cutting Kurdistan's share from the fuel produced at the Iraqi refineries. It has cut Erbil's share completely. He continued it is not feasible for Baghdad to cut Kurdistan's share of fuel or electricity under every pretext daily. "Therefore, in these two fields we will have our independence and will provide the demand of the [Kurdistan] region," Barzani said. A number of issues between KRG and Baghdad are yet to be settled. Among them are the status and salary of peshmarga (Kurdistan border guards), the ownership of some multiethnic areas and the oil contracts signed by the KRG.The oil contracts have become a highly sensitive subject as Baghdad labels the contracts illegal and presses the foreign companies to quit investment in Kurdistan fields.

Dumez camp has received 8,000 Syrian refugees so far

Duhok: Civilian organizations working in the Kurdistan Region stated Tuesday that Dumez camp in Duhok province has so far received 8,000 displaced Syrians. Tammuz Organization for Social Development and the Council of NGOs in Kurdistan said in a joint statement that the refugees include 750 families while the number of young refugees reached 4,156. The statement added that aid was distributed among refugees and the camp was processed with electricity, sewage networks and a water supply. The statement said the delegation of civic organizations that visited Dumez noticed that the situation of the refugees in the camp is good if compared with other camps. The Kurdistan Region received more than 10,000 displaced Syrians, mostly Kurds, while other Iraqi cities received about 6,000.

UNDP submits report about Kurdistan Region's infrastructure

Erbil: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) submitted its evaluation report about socioeconomic infrastructure in the Kurdistan Region. Economic advisor Michel Del Buono at UNDP-Iraq gave the primary report about the project to the Kurdistan Region's Minister of Planning Ali Sindi. In the meeting both sides discussed the results and recommendations before discussing the final report, which is expected to end before September, said a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government. This project started in May and provides a complete evaluation of the region's infrastructure to highlight the gaps and demands of socioeconomic infrastructure especially in the health, education, electric, water, sewage, agriculture, irrigation, industry, construction, transport and tourism sectors. UNDP will implement the project in partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government to support the region to reach its own development objectives.

12 Indian workers return home from Sulaimaniyah after payment dispute

Erbil: The Sulaimaniyah branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Syndicate announced that 12 Indian workers were sent home voluntarily after solving a payment dispute. Twelve Indian workers have been out of work for two months in Sulaimaniyah and had a payment disagreement with their employer J.M.C, a UAE company. Branch head Luqman Omer said in press conference that they contacted the relevant authority in the region but unfortunately only the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs responded to their request. Head of the Construction Workers' Syndicate Osman Hamasaed stated that they followed up the case for three days and discussed the issue with both the Indian workers and J.M.C to solve the problem. At the end we came to the result that the Indian workers should voluntarily return home and receive one month extra payment on top of their full salary, Hamasaed added.

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