Iraq: Kurdish Government Proposes to Freeze the Referendum Results

Pro-Kurdistan referendum and pro-Kurdistan independence rally at Franso Hariri Stadiu, Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Pro-Kurdistan referendum and pro-Kurdistan independence rally at Franso Hariri Stadiu, Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Kurdish government, in an unexpected statement, has expressed willingness to freeze the independence referendum result to de-escalate the simmering tension between the central Iraqi government and the Kurdish government based in Erbil.

The Kurdish regional government held a referendum in last month to secede from Iraq in pursuit of independence.

The Kurdish people overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence in the disputed referendum on September 25.

More than 90% of the people voted in favor of independence held in the Kurdish regions including Kirkuk.

The regional powers including Turkey and Iran repeatedly urged the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) not to hold the referendum.

The determined Kurdish government announced to secede from Iraq following an independence referendum that voted for an independent state for the Kurdish people.

An unprecedented tension began to boil after the Iraqi government deployed troops at the outskirt of Kirkuk.

The Kurdish government vowed to protect Kirkuk at any cost as many Kurdish seem to regard Kirkuk as their Jerusalem.  Kirkuk was financially very important for the Kurdish people as it has the world’s most significant oil fields.

As Iraq and Kurdistan are faced with grave and dangerous circumstances, we are all obliged to act responsibly in order to prevent further violence and clashes between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces,” the KRG statement said.

The Kurdish defense force Peshmarga, however, failed to protect Kirkuk from the Iraqi troops.

The Iraqi security forces retook Kirkuk from the Kurdish forces without any deterrence.

Kurdish government was under fierce pressure after losing Kirkuk and its borders being shut by Iran and Turkey.

The Turkish President Erdogan, meanwhile, visited Iran and together with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, declared to stand for a united Iraq.

The Kurdish Regional Government said in a statement on Wednesday that they are ready for an “immediate ceasefire and halt all military operations in Kurdistan region”.

“As Iraq and Kurdistan are faced with grave and dangerous circumstances, we are all obliged to act responsibly in order to prevent further violence and clashes between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces,” the KRG statement said.

The statement came in a time when the Iraqi security forces are conducting military buildups in the Kurdish region. The Kurdish government has been under pressure by the international community to back down.

The latest statement added, “Clashes have caused damage to both sides and could lead to a continuous bloodshed, inflicting pain and social unrest among different components of Iraqi society.”

The statement came as a surprise. The Kurdish government proposed to nullify the referendum result because, it said, the “continued fighting does not lead any side to victory, but it will drive the country towards disarray and chaos, affecting all aspects of life.”

 


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