Arab-Kurdish Rapprochement in Northern Iraqi Region

This article was written by Ahmed Younis, Khalid Waleed and Mustafa Mohammed, and was originally published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, It is reproduced by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Residents of Iraq’s volatile Nineveh province say they are cautiously optimistic that their lives will get better because Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians have decided to work with rather than against one another.

After Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was ousted in 2003, this northern province became one of the most dangerous places in the country, despite American, Iraqi and Kurdish efforts to crush the Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda militants who made Nineveh their base.

Security is still a serious issue, along with poor public services and high unemployment, and residents blame many of the problems on continued animosity between local Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders.

The Arabs have accused Kurdish leaders and their “peshmerga” troops of abuses and discrimination against non-Kurds. They have also accused the Kurdish authorities of seeking to incorporate Nineveh into the Kurdistan Region to the north.

Kurdish politicians argue that it is their community that has been persecuted, and that Sunni Arab insurgents have killed several thousand of them in the provincial capital Mosul in recent years.

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