It’s time to declare independence in South Kurdistan (By Muhsin Berxane)

10 Jun
It’s time to declare independence in South Kurdistan As a freelance writer, in 2005 I wrote an article on the Dutch-Kurdish ‘Azady’ news website about Federalism in Iraq and why it would fail and lead to Kurdish independence in the end.

We are now in 2014 and my opinion has not changed. Federalism does not work in Iraq and most Kurds will agree with me.

Baseless pessimism

Experts might bring up multiple reasons why declaring independence in Kurdistan is not on the table just yet but in my opinion they are wrong.

We as Kurds should ask the following question: “What will be the effect of declaring independence in the region and how will the neighboring countries behave?

Here are some points that we as Kurds should take in to consideration.

The situation in the middle-east

Iran-Iraq relations

Today Iran has a reformist president and a new approach towards the west. The KRG has good relations with the IROI and i think Iran will have no option but to accept a Kurdish state in South Kurdistan [Iraqi Kurdistan].

If we look at the past few years, we can clearly see that Iran’s policies in Iraq reflect a desire to create a weak Shia state which they can control from Tehran.

Disputed territories

The issue Iran and Iraq have with Kurdistan is mostly about the control of the (oil-rich) Kurdish disputed territories.

If Kurdistan doesn’t reintegrate those territories back into Kurdistan, there will be no objection.

First of all; if Kurds get those territories back the hard way, with the guns, i don’t think Iraq can win a war against Kurdistan. Iraq’s army has not even been able to win the fight against terrorist groups such as ISIS.

They are no match for the strong Kurdish army and they know this very well.

East-Kurdistan Parties will support KRG by any means

Considering those points, do Kurds really think the IROI, with the mentioned reformist approach of today towards the west in mind, will support a war against the Kurds? A war that will most likely cause the Kurdish opposition groups of Iran to take up arms again in support of the Kurds in South Kurdistan. Iran knows very well they cannot make such a mistake and has no option but to accept a Kurdish state.

Turkey-KRG relations

Turkey has also good relations with the KRG and oil and the economy is more important than the integrity of Iraq to the Turks in contrary to what many Kurdish experts think. Above those points, Turkey can’t effort a war against the in any part of Kurdistan. They have 22 to 30 million Kurds, a volcano that will erupt if Turkey supports any war against the Kurdish brothers and sisters in South Kurdistan.

Turkey like Iran and Iraq, is in no position to wage war against the Kurds in 2014.

Syria and West-Kurdistan

So this brings us to the last country, the war-torn Syria. A country where already most parts of Kurdistan are under Kurdish rule.

Assad can’t and will not support any war against South Kurdistan because he knows he can’t confront the KRG and YPG-PKK at the same time and most importantly, he is fighting many armed groups at the moment, unsure of his future as Syria’s dictator. He also knows very well he can’t win a fight against the Kurds in Syria, let stand the strong Kurdish army of South-Kurdistan.

Kurdish states and disputed territories 

I think we have 2 options now, option 1 is to wait for the implementation of article 140.

After 11 years we now know Iraq will never reach such a civilized democratic agreement with the Kurdistan over this issue. They have a different view of democracy in which they define the the articles in the constitution as they desire.

Option 2: Move KRG army into the Kurdish disputed territories, especially now that our people’s security is in a great danger and Iraq’s army is losing the war against extremist terrorist groups in Mosul and other regions. KRG should then hold a referendum, in which we all know what the outcome will be in most parts and declare independence after the referendum.

Graffiti ISIS has resolved Article 140 which is the constitutional Kirkuk status referendum.

Graffiti ISIS has resolved Article 140 which is the constitutional Kirkuk status referendum.

“An independent Kurdish state will be established”

Based on all of this i think President Barzani’s recent visit to Europe was to make a strong case for an independent Kurdistan. I think there will be a referendum in November 2014 and President Barzani will declare independence before the end of his term, most likely Newroz 2015 as a strong symbolic statement to world and the Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan.

Muhsin Berxane, a Kurdish freelance writer, Kurd Net Journal –

June 9, 2014

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