20 June 2014
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Update from the Christian Peacemaker Team in Sulaimani
In the face of the recent violence in Iraq, the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan project is doing well. CPTers are maintaining a presence there and have been able to accompany and support Kurdish efforts for justice and peace.
The violence that started in the north of the country was not located in the Kurdish region. From the border between the autonomous region of Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq, the militant ISIS group has moved down towards Baghdad. See Isis road to Baghdad.
Kurdish military forces are located at the border with Iraq to contend with any possible violence against the Kurdish region. In addition, they took the control of Kirkuk—a city of great emotional and political significance to the Kurds. There are many analyses of how this violence will affect or not affect the Kurdistan, but nothing is clear at this point. It is clear also that the are many powerful interests behind what is happening in Iraq and what could be the future of the country: One state? Three states?
But the major concern for the people in Iraqi Kurdistan is the massive influx of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from the south. An estimated 500, 000 people fled last week towards Kurdistan—considered the safest place in the country right now.
The possibility of a U.S. attack, invasion, or support? The role of Iran and Turkey? What will happen in Kurdistan? Time will tell.
The CPT Kurdistan team will continue monitoring the situation and evaluating possible courses of action in conjunction with their partners and advisers in Sulaimani, in case the safety of the region and the city where CPT is located changes.
Meanwhile, our team hopes to continue supporting Kurdish partners in peacebuilding efforts. The expected humanitarian crisis—given the number of refugees from Syria and IDPs from within Iraq—will almost certainly take a part of our attention, as it will knock the doors of the CPT project.
Links for further reading
What is happening in Iraq? - written by a Kurd
Kurdistan tribune - online magazine, considered one of the "independent" media from the region.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts for the project.
|Iraqi Kurdistan team with CPT trainees during training session in Sulaimani February-March 2014|