Dec 14 2011
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Baghdad bullies try to squash Diyala's region hopes
Diyala Provincial Council's demand for regional autonomy was announced two days ago, almost two months after another Sunni dominated province Salahaddin called for the same.
Under article 119 of Iraq's constitution "one or more governorates [provinces] shall have the right to organize into a region" if one third of the Provincial Council members or one tenth of the voters request to form a region. Ultimately the request is decided by a referendum.
Kurdistan Region's right to this autonomous state is enshrined in the constitution as the Region has exercised autonomous rule from Baghdad on and off for more than 20 years.
Soon after a Kurdish member read out the announcement that Diyala Council was applying for Region status he was arrested on terrorism charges. The house of the head of the council was torched yesterday and one of his guards was killed.
Jalil Ibrahim, a Diyala Council member from the Kurdistan Alliance List, told AKnews that paramilitary forces from outside the Province have been deployed inside Diyala's borders.
Muthanna Tamimi, head of the Security Committee at Diyala Council, refuted this, calling it "baseless".
With signs that the status quo is disintegrating, Kurds in Khanaqin city and its Mandali suburb wish to split from Diyala Province now and join Kurdistan Region.
Kanaqin is one of the disputed territories, like Kirkuk, the future of which was meant to be settled by article 140 of the constitution. Article 140 sets out steps for the disputed areas to be defined as governed by Baghdad or Erbil.
The constitution set out a deadline for resolving the article 140 issue - that elapsed three years ago and all sides show no sign of budging. With no sign of movement the Kurds in Kanaqin are vociferously calling for immediate absorption into Kurdistan Region.
© AK News 2011
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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