jeudi 21 janvier 2010

Arab and Turkmens seek to dissolve joint forces in parliament

Kirkuk, Jan. 20 (AKnews) – After a joint force of Iraqi army, U.S. forces, and Kurdish Peshmarga forces was formed to maintain security in the disputed areas between Baghdad and Kurdistan Region, some Turkmens and Arabs of Kirkuk are seeking a parliament resolution to dissolve the forces.

A Turkmen councilor in Kirkuk, Ali Mahdi, of the Turkmeneli Party, believed the force was counter the people of Kirkuk, because the existence of the Kurdish forces in the area during the previous polls ended up negatively.

The Kurdish Peshmarga forces belong to the Kurdish parties, therefore their existence in the province affects the poll results, according to Mahdi."We consider the deployment of Peshmarga in Kirkuk contrary to the Iraqi constitution" he added.

The councilor said they would not agree to the deployment of "external forces" in Kirkuk, demanding a joint force from Kirkuk.

Mahdi called on the presidency of the Iraqi Parliament to dissolve the decision of forming the joint force.

However, Irfan Kirkuki, who heads the Turkmen People's Party, said his party would support the deployment of joint forces in the disputed areas, and in particular Kirkuk. "We believe the decision to form and deploy the joint force helps strengthen the security situation of the areas, which will benefit all the ethnic groups of the areas"

The Turkmen official rejected statements under the cover of Turkmen people taht reject the decision to form the force, emphasizing on their support for the force.

Some Arab parties also seem to be against the idea that joint forces which contain Kurdsih forces is deployed in Kirkuk and other disputed areas.

Ahmed Obeidi, leader of the Iraqi Kirkuk Front, which is an Arab entity, said most of the ethnic groups of Kirkuk were against the formation of the force; because "the Iraqi polls are nearing"

The Arab leader believed that Kurdish forces in Kirkuk would tamper with vote results.
"Iraqi army's 12th division has been stationed in Kirkuk, in addition to U.S. forces and thousands of policemen, therefore the joint force is not necessary" Obeidi added.

Buts Kurds support the joint force and believe it serves the welfare of all ethnic groups in the areas.

The oil-rich Kirkuk, 250 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, is an ethnically diverse city of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, and Christians. The province is one of the major disputed areas by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad.

ry AKnews

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