Iraqi Kurdistan: Fragile Peace

 

So far this spring, life along the Iraqi Kurdistan – Iran border has remained quiet.  A ceasefire between the PJAK (the Free Life Party of Kurdistan – a Kurdish militia group that has been fighting a guerilla war since the 2004) and the Iranian military has held since October 2011.

PJAK calls for equal rights for Kurds and democracy within Iran.  Since October, it has shifted away from the border towards using political channels to achieve its aims. 

This ceasefire has halted the regular flow of artillery shells flying over from Iranian military bases.  For now, the Kurdish villagers along that border are safe.

However, it is a fragile peace.  CPT’s partners say that the success of the ceasefire depends on the overall stability of the region.  So far, Iran has stuck to its word, even as other nations warn of military action.  If Iran’s security comes under threat, the situation could rapidly deteriorate, with violence rippling outward in this region.

The Iraqi Kurdistan team fears that military action against Iran could lead to the Kurds of Iraq and Iran being hurt again, like so many times in recent history.  Some call this “collateral damage.”  The  team calls it “destroying people’s lives.”

CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan does not support military action against the Islamic Republic of Iran.  We say no to war.  We believe there is always an alternative to violence.