Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 09, 2007

Proposed relocations could inflame Kurd-Arab tensions in Kirkuk

The Iraqi Higher Committee for the Normalization of Kirkuk announced a plan to pass legislation that would require any remaining descendents from Arab families that moved to the city under Ba’athist rule to return to their original homes, Spero News reported today. While Kirkuk has had a long tradition of mixed ethnicities and coexistence, there has been a recent housing crisis, and at its core, ethnic tension.

After the fall of the Ba’athist regime many Kirkuk natives who had fled the violence and oppression returned to their homes, only to find that they had already been resettled.

Arab residents facing the prospect of forced removal are to receive land and monetary compensation upon return to their original homes. Similarly, the Kurdistan Regional Government is hoping to attract those who were forced out of the area during under the Hussein regime with land and financial compensation.

However, some worry about the effects of such legislation. Deportation could exacerbate ethnic divisions. Additionally, the use of Iraqi troops to carry out the campaign could sour relations with the U.S.

For the full article, click here.


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