Kirkuk: Mediation for calm… but the “explosion” could happen at any moment

Kirkuk: Mediation for calm… but the “explosion” could happen at any moment


Kirkuk: Mediation for calm... but the explosion could happen at any momentVarious political mediators are moving to control the calm in the city of Kirkuk (north of Baghdad), after violent friction between demonstrators and security forces, which was close to the outbreak of widespread violence.

Although the mediations have so far been able to restore cautious calm to the city, the roots of the problem have not been resolved, and it appears that the current movements do not have a strategic plan for normalization in Kirkuk.

Meanwhile, a large number of military vehicles carrying soldiers from the army and special forces, and riot control units, arrived in Kirkuk after reports of a possible Kurdish demonstration in the center of the city.

A senior officer said: The security forces have higher orders to prevent any unauthorized demonstration, while observers from the city’s residents expect that “the atmosphere is completely ready to explode.”

It seems that supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party see the current truce as a “setback for their presence in Kirkuk,” while their competitor, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, is regaining its local influence there, due to the increasing rapprochement of its leader, Bafel Talabani, with the Shiite factions.

The latter two apply to some extent the saying “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” against Masoud Barzani in Kirkuk, but settling scores in this way, and in a nationally complex city, would seem like “playing with fire,” in the words of a local official in the Kirkuk government.

The city was supposed to be subject to Constitutional Article 140, which stipulates the normalization of the situation through a population census and a referendum on its fate, but after federal forces took control of the city in 2016, Shiite party leaders considered that there was no need for this article of the constitution.