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Published On: Thu, Oct 19th, 2017

UN Security Council expressed concern about situation in Kirkuk

nsnbc : The United Nations’ Security Council, on Wednesday, expressed concern over recent reports of violence in and near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. The city is disputed with both the federal government and the Kurdistan Autonomous Region claiming their stakes.

Northern Iraq_displaced women and children_UN_archives_2017Thee city and the province was seized by Iraqi military and security forces backed by Iranian-backed, predominantly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces). “Council members called on all sides to refrain from the threat and use of force, and to engage in constructive dialogue as a pathway to de-escalation and a means to preserve Iraqi unity while upholding the provisions of the Iraqi constitution,” said a press statement issued by the 15-member body.

The Council (UNSC) reaffirmed its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq, as well as the importance of remaining focused on efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). The Council likewise voiced its full support for UN efforts to facilitate dialogue between Iraqi stakeholders.

“Council members called on all sides to refrain from the threat and use of force, and to engage in constructive dialogue as a pathway to de-escalation and a means to preserve Iraqi unity while upholding the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution,” the council added.

Iraqi troops, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces, took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Tuesday, fulfilling Prime Minister al-Abadi’s earlier directives to retake areas where  sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Regional Government. The military takeover came after Kurdistan voted in September to secede from Iraq. The Iraqi military command said it is now in control over all of the province’s oil fields, military bases and government facilities.

The Council did not explicitly express concern about the rights of Kurds as well as the rights of Yezidi (Yezidi) in the region. Many independent international observers are gravely concerned at the prospect that Yezidi, under Shiite Hash al-Shaabi dominance, won’t be much better off than the were under the tyranny of the Sunni Islamic State.

F/AK – nsnbc 19.07.2017

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