Iraq: Supreme Court halts opening of KDP headquarters in Kirkuk

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2023-09-03 20:10:15

The Federal Supreme Court of Iraq has ordered a halt to the opening of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's headquarters in Kirkuk, following deadly clashes that led to four killed and 15 injured.

The Federal Supreme Court of Iraq decided, on Sunday, to suspend the procedures for the handover of the Joint Operations Command headquarters in the northern province of Kirkuk to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), one day after clashes erupted across the governorate claiming the lives of 4 people and injuring about 15 others.

The Federal Supreme Court held its deliberative hearing to consider the request for a petition for the handing over of the Joint Operations Headquarters in Kirkuk on the basis of the case submitted to it.

The Kirkuk administration, on its part, called on those affected by the events to file their complaints at the Rahimah police station to ensure their compensation.

In an official statement, the Kirkuk administration called on "all those affected in the unfortunate and painful events that took place in Kirkuk on Saturday to submit their complaints to the Rahimah police station for the purpose of working as soon as possible to complete their applications and work to ensure that compensation is obtained for those affected by the Prime Minister."

Today, the Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, made two telephone calls to assess the situation in Kirkuk Governorate and discussed matters with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohammad al-Halbousi, and the President of the Kurdistan National Union, Pavel Talabani.

It is also important to note that the authorities of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, on Sunday, lifted the curfew they had imposed earlier on Saturday and opened all routes, allowing the free movement of vehicles.

Kirkuk events unfolding

A spokesperson for the Kirkuk Police Command, Amer Shawani, reported on Sunday that the clashes that broke out in the northern Iraqi province on Saturday led to 4 deaths and 15 injuries, adding that "the deaths and injuries were caused by live gunfire, and investigations are ongoing to determine who was responsible."

Previously, on Saturday, a curfew was instated in the evening after protests -- between Kurdish residents, on one side, and Turkmen and Arabs, on the other, descended into violence.

Earlier that day, police had been deployed to act as a buffer and keep apart the rival groups.

Tensions have been brewing for nearly a week in Kirkuk, which has historically been disputed between the federal government in Baghdad and the authorities in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

It is worth noting that Arab and Turkmen demonstrators staged a sit-in near the headquarters of the Iraqi security forces in Kirkuk province last Monday, after reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had ordered them to hand over the site to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Kurdish protesters tried to reach the headquarters on Saturday, an AFP correspondent said.

In 2014, the KDP and the peshmerga, the security forces of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, took control of Kirkuk, an oil-producing region of northern Iraq.

However, federal troops expelled them in the autumn of 2017 following a referendum.

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