News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Opposition parties in Southern Kurdistan – or the Federal Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRG) – have reacted negatively to the decision by Hewler (Erbil) to prevent Salih Muslim from crossing the border from Rojava into KRG, says a report from ANF.
Muslim had traveled to Rojava from Western Europe in order to receive condolences on the death of his son, who was killed in clashes with al-Qaeda earlier this month. When he attempted to travel back across the border into the KRG on October 23 in order to go abroad he was prevented from entering. He is due at a conference on the future of Kurdistan in Washing, D.C this coming Monday. The KRG claimed after much protest that the Semalka crossing between the KRG and Rojava is open, however residents of Rojava are rarely allowed to go back and forth.
The Goran Party, which finished second in the most recent elections last month, condemned the move. The head of the party in Hewler, Dr. Mihemed Heci, was reported to have said, “We have said it before. This is not a good thing…it is not a good situation when Mr. Muslim is prevented or forbidden from crossing. We want to repeat this…the situation in Western Kurdistan is not good, they need Southern Kurdistan. They [the KRG] should not be an obstacle but should help them.”
The Kurdish Islamic Union (Yekgirtuyê Îslamî ya Kurdistan), or Yetgirtu – which with 9 seats is the fourth largest party in the KRG parliament – also disapproved of the government’s actions. Xexil İbrahim, a representative of the party, spoke thus, “For us the obstruction of Salih Muslim is a question of reaction” but maintained that the borders should be open not only for Muslim but all “patriots.” He went on to say that the current status of the Federal Kurdish Region was the “product of the struggle of the Kurdish people from every part of Kurdistan” and that “no one should say this part belongs to me.”
Mahmud Osman, who is a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament and an independent, said that it was a “political issue” and wanted dialog. He went on to say, “I hope that our brothers in the KDP, the PYD and the PKK can solve this problem with dialog…if this problem is not solved, it is possible that it will get worse.”