The Kurdish political parties in Kirkuk have called on the Iraqi prime minister to lift "military authority" over the city put an end to the "violations" that they believe are being committed against Kurdish neighborhoods in the name of temporary checkpoints and security checks.
The demands were announced at a press conference held in Kirkuk on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, after a meeting of representatives of a number of Kurdish parties, without the presence of representatives of the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP and Nawai Nwe (The New Generation) Movement.
Dilshad Salih, head of the Kirkuk headquarters of the Communist Party of Kurdistan, read out a statement on behalf of the parties participating in the meeting, calling on Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Sudani to lift "military authority" over Kirkuk and take into account the security situation.
Another demand is to improve the public services in Kirkuk neighborhoods all without discrimination, especially to solve the problems of the electricity sector and garbage collection.
"Occasionally, the army interferes in the issue of agricultural lands, while they do not have that right, (since) their duty is to protect the city and they should stop interfering in the city and people's affairs," Salih said.
Kirkuk, Iraq’s second largest oil reserves, is an ethnically mixed province for 1,7 million Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmens. Located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, it has long been at the center of disputes between Baghdad and the Erbil.
Kurds were holding the senior position in Kirkuk including governor of Kirkuk up to October 2017 when the Iraqi Security Forces ISF ousted the Kurdish forces following declaration of victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL.
Video: November 9, 2022- Press conference of Kurdish parties representatives on the situation in Kirkuk.
The agenda of the new cabinet of Sudani, took office last October, approved by the Iraqi parliament, includes a section on the points agreed upon by the political factions and several points talk about filling the security gap between the forces of the federal government and those Kurdistan Regional Government KRG, to form an emergency brigade of local police in order to take over the security of the Kirkuk, in addition to the expulsion of the Iraqi army, the pro-Iran Shia paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF known as Hashid Shaabi and the federal police forces in the cities.
The head of the Kirkuk Communist headquarters says there are security violations. There are security checkpoints in most Kurdish neighborhoods and areas of the city, but not in other neighborhoods and areas, according to their investigation.
However, according to the statements of the Kirkuk police command, the deployment of forces and the establishment of temporary and emergency checkpoints, especially after 12 pm, covered the entire city and the aim is to impose security and take security measures.
A statement by Kirkuk police on November 9th declared based on the instructions of the Interior Minister, they arrested 29 wanted suspects, including three wanted under the anti-terrorism law, in addition to seizing 12 motorcycles and 19 unregistered vehicles.
Rawand Mullah Mahmoud, head of the Kirkuk headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, said in the press conference that there are security violations in the city and “we will not allow it.”
He believes there is "a lot of injustice and will write all these violations, security and administrative problems to the president, the Council of Ministers, the Joint Operations Command, the acting governor of Kirkuk and the United Nations UN representation.”