Dindar Zebari: KRG Constantly Called for the Immediate Settlement of Disputed Areas including Kirkuk through Execution of Art. 140 of the Iraqi Constitution

On June 16, 2020, the International Crisis Group (ICG) published a report entitled “Iraq: Fixing Security in Kirkuk”. The report describes the security situation in Kirkuk and the disputed areas after the war against ISIL. It also refers to the October 2017 events and the KRI Referendum in the Kurdistan Region and the disputed areas.
Dr. Dindar Zebari, the KRG Coordinator for International Advocacy, stated in this repsect that “KRG welcomes the report of the International Crisis Group (ICG) on the disputed areas, particularly the assessment on Kirkuk.”Following ISIL attacks, the people residing in these areas faced immense persecutions, including displacement and destruction of properties, yet, after three years, their condition remain more or less the same, hence KRG has asked INGOs and the international partners to help those people”, Zebari added. 
The report stresses on the importance of a joint task force to manage the security problems in the disputed areas. The KRG Coordinator stated in this regard that “KRG supports the existence of a joint task force that represents the components inhabiting these areas, and Peshmerga is an essential force whos participation in this regard is imperative to restore stability.” Zebari remarked that “Peshmerga has invariably protected ethnic and religious components in these areas.”
Regarding the presence of forces that are not under the command of the Chief Commander of Armed Forces, Zebari asserted that “the existence of these forces made the security situation more volatile, paving the way for ISIL militants to take this opportunity to conduct terrorist activities that severly damaged the stability in the disputed areas.”
The KRG Coordinator empathized that “KRG and the Ferderal Government had cooperated from 2003 until 2017 to manage the security in those areas.” He also added that “KRG has strived to promote democratic and humanitarian principles in these areas, most important of which is the protection of coexistence between ethnic and religious components, and it believes the implementation of Art. 140 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees these initiatives.”
Zebari further stated that the security vaccums also damaged the economic conditions of the villagers dwelling in these areas. “Due to the volatile situation in the disputed areas, villages in Kerkuk, Shingal, Kfri, Xanaqin, and Xurmatu, have had their harvested lands burned and annihilated by unknown perpetrators.”
In his final remarks, KRG Coordinator asserted that “KRG has continuosly asked the Federal Government to execute Art. 140 as soon as possible, and it displayed its utter commitment for coordination and cooperation in this respect. KRG also asked the international community, before the war against terrorism, to render self-rule rights for the people residing in the disputed areas, in order to eliminate the existent frictions and conflicts.”