View Full Version : Internal Divisions Threaten Kurdish Unity

03-17-2007, 03:59 PM
The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 15 Mar 07:

Internal Divisions Threaten Kurdish Unity (http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2370278)

...Although the administration of the Iraqi Kurdish region was officially unified under the KRG, they still have yet to implement the unification agreement fully. This means that there are still unresolved issues and rivalries between the preeminent Kurdish political groups—the KDP and PUK. For one, unifying the administrations will mean dismantling old patronage networks. In doing so, the PUK-KDP leadership will be forced to manage the ramifications of the fallout within the mid-level political ranks in order to strengthen their institutions and ministries. The so-called "old guard" still has long standing feuds, rivalries, personal interests and patronage networks that could be threatened by unification or by greater democracy in the region.

The other obstacle to unification is the armed forces of each party—the peshmerga. The Iraqi constitution calls for the creation of a unified National Guard—ostensibly made up of the same peshmerga fighters that had previously fought one another—to provide internal security for the North. This is no easy task. The challenge is to unify their command and control so that they can comply with the constitution, provide adequate security, link up to the central command in Baghdad and prevent the temptation to call in the peshmerga whenever there is an internal dispute between the KDP and PUK. Despite the unification agreement, there remain two separate peshmerga ministries. Peshmerga fighters are loyal to their political bosses, not to the KRG. The peshmerga are affiliated with the parties and they perceive themselves as PUK and KDP peshmerga, separately. Looming in the background are past grievances from the civil war that raged from 1994-1998....