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A purely Iraqi affair

Sep 30,2017 - Last updated at Sep 30,2017

The Kurdish referendum now is over, what remains to be seen is what will happen next. 

Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani has left the door open for an accommodation with Baghdad when he said “a referendum today does not mean an independence tomorrow”.

This could mean an invitation to a middle course that both sides can still find to end the brewing controversy between them.

There are many models in the world for the harmonious coexistence of sizeable communities in one country.

There is the Canadian model, where 10 provinces exist with all the basic attributes of independence and each enjoys vast provincial powers.

There is also the Switzerland model, where local governments enjoy their own jurisdiction.

There is the Russian Federation model of independent republics and autonomous regions.

There is, thus, no shortage of models in the world of countries where minority groups or peoples can live alongside each other yet feel free and independent.

Pluralistic democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights can make a federal form of government succeed. It does not succeed when there is no operational democracy in place.

The Iraqi constitution recognises that Iraq is an Arab-Kurdish state and not just an Arab country.

The leadership in Erbil repeatedly complained that it was pushed to hold a referendum because the federal system of government in Iraq failed, as it is not functioning properly and is sectarian, dominated by Shiites.

Neighbouring countries should not interfere in this essentially Iraqi affair, as they have no international mandate or legal authority under international law to intervene in this domestic conflict, even if they contend that their own security could be compromised by the developments in a neighbouring state.

There is no lawful precedent for a nation to intervene militarily or otherwise in a neighbouring country when political conditions appear to worsen for them. 

This “Iraqi” conflict must be left to the Iraqis of all ethnicities to solve.

 

They should find a middle course that could provide the foundation for a permanent solution to the current standoff.

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