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IRAQI KURDISTAN: Mobilize for Peace Now!

CPTnet
16 October 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Mobilize for Peace Now!

On October 16, 2017, fighting broke out between Iraqi and Iranian militaries against the Iraqi Kurdistan forces along a new frontline in the oil-rich town district of Kirkuk. Reports of the violent clashes as well as the dead and wounded have reached across the globe. This is only the most recent escalation in violence and sanctions against the people of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The effects of decades of war can be felt deeply throughout Iraqi Kurdistan while the region is still engaged in a battle against ISIS. Bombs and mortars still hit mountain villages in border areas where a thirty-year war continues to rage on between armed Kurdish fighters and the neighboring governments of Turkey and Iran. The landscape is dotted with camps housing people who fled war against ISIS while Iraqi Kurdistan is in the midst of a dire economic crisis drastically impacting its citizens. Memories of a lifetime of wars and sanctions live within the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. Saddam Hussein’s campaign of genocide alone killed more than a 100,000 Kurdish civilians.

On September 25, 2017 the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan held a referendum to separate from Iraq. The outcome was an overwhelming majority voting for an independent Kurdistan. Since then, talks between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the governments of Iraq, Turkey and Iran have been focused on the timing and legitimacy of the referendum. Foreign troops have mobilized along borders of Iraqi Kurdistan as war drums echo loudly.

Iraqi forces armoured cars in Kirkuk
            Iraqi forces advance on Kirkuk, photo: dw.com / Getty Images/AFP/A. Al-Rubaye

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About CPT

Partnering with nonviolent movements around the world, CPT seeks to embody an inclusive, ecumenical and diverse community of God's love. We believe we can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through:

  • the nonviolent power of God's truth
  • partnership with local peacemakers
  • bold action

CPT places teams at the invitation of local peacemaking communities that are confronting situations of lethal conflict. These teams seek to follow God's Spirit as it works through local peacemakers who risk injury and death by waging nonviolent direct action to confront systems of violence and oppression.

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression. We are committed to undoing oppressions, starting within our own lives and in the practices of our organization.