UN preaches negotiations everywhere, except in Kurdistan
By Ayub Nuri3 hours ago
The United Nations which was created to prevent wars in the world and bring peace has unsurprisingly played no good part in tensions that have risen between Erbil and Baghdad as a result of the Kurdish independence referendum.
The only few times UN officials in Iraq or New York have spoken they have condemned the referendum as a process threatening the region’s stability. With such statements the UN is making itself part of the problem, not the solution.
If UN officials do not care about Kurdistan Region’s six million population they should at least have worried about the 1.8 million Iraqi IDPs who have taken shelter here.
These refugees and IDPs live in miserable conditions in windswept dusty camps. Do UN officials know that once you’re forced from your home it’s unlikely you’ll ever return? People from Anbar and Salahaddin and other areas say their areas have now become no-mans-land. The Shiite militia and Iraqi army do not allow anyone to return. They’re condemned to live displaced lives in refugee camps forever.
Now the UN silence on Iraq’s measures against the Kurdistan Region has victimized the local population as well as those refugees.
The UN condemns a people for practicing a democratic right of asking for independence, but leaving alone a government that stops millions of women and children from returning home and displacing thousands more every day.
The situation in the Kurdistan Region such as stability, a political process, freedom of movement and trade is what the UN is striving to achieve in other conflict zones around the world. Brining rival parties to the negotiating table has been one of the main missions of the UN. Those qualities exist in the Kurdistan Region, but the UN is ignoring and putting it at the risk of deterioration by not stepping in and taking charge.
The referendum didn’t threaten Iraq’s stability. It is the UN inaction doing so. The organization should have jumped at the Kurdish proposal for peaceful negotiations. Isn’t that what UN leaders preach around the world every day?
Iraq’s flight ban and threats to close all land borders is a collective punishment against Yezidi and Christian refugees, against family reunions, against wounded Peshmerga, students studying abroad and aid workers who have traveled thousands of miles to make a difference in Kurdistan.
If the US, EU, Iran and Turkey are in the same league against Erbil, at least the UN should play up to expectations, be neutral and step in as a force for good.
Critics have often blamed the UN as an organization that all it does is issuing statements, but in the case of the Kurdistan Region it hasn’t even issued a statement. If you raised an alarm about the Kurdish referendum, which was false, at least do the same about Iraq’s punitive measures, the drumming up of war and the siege of its people, which is real.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.