IRAQ: A glimpse of the problems in Kirkuk

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CPTnet
DATE December 2010
IRAQ: A glimpse
of the problems in Kirkuk


( from a CPT Iraq activity with five students living in Kirkuk)

As we mentioned in [a previous] statement, we said that the problems [in Kirkuk
City] are a lack of security, scarcity of water and electricity, freedom of speech, of
proper education, libraries and of cleanliness in the city.

(1) The
security situation in the city
The government needs to put trustworthy
officials in place. Also, the background of those officials must be publicly
known by all; they should be trained in human rights work, and they should be
responsible for the security of the whole nation as well as all the people.
These past years, we have discovered that all bombings and problems of violence
were perpetrated by these officials.

(2) Water Some of the quarters
inside Kirkuk have water all the time, while some areas lack water.  The government should have a plan to solve
this problem so that all the people in Kirkuk have water some of the time.

(3) Electricity Today we have national
as well as generator power and the people buy as much as they want from
generators. By orders from the Kirkuk government, there must be nine hours of
generator power for all people. However, at times we have both national as well
as generator power together, but the generator owners are not reimbursing the
people for the times that we have both powers together. So, there must be a
plan to determine when national power is off so generator power can be used. Or
perhaps, the government can own its own generator to supply power. If they follow
this plan, our city will be more attractive without all those wires. Leaders’
homes should not have electricity while many others do not.

(4) Freedom of speech The people in
Kirkuk, especially the journalists, editors, and writers live in fear because
they are not free to express the truth as they see it.  If anyone wants to speak of the corruption
here, he or she will be threatened, or the writer will be murdered. There
should be a guarantee for the safety of these writers and journalists provided
by the unions.

(5) Education We have some teachers
that are not teaching lessons in the school because they want to teach these
same students outside of school premises and be paid for the lessons. They
sometimes remove the girls from the schools saying that it is not culturally
correct for girls to be educated. The boys have many more opportunities to
study. The government should tax families that want to remove children from
school. In order to improve the situation here, education must be compulsory.  

We have many Kurdish students living in Kirkuk who
find that their names are registered in Hawijau, Mosul and Tikrit. Therefore,
when it comes time for university or to find employment, they must travel to
those cities. This process indicates that the government wants to remove
Kurdish people from Kirkuk.

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