Monday, 15 April 2013

Iraq: Fighting in Ninevah

Clashes broke out this month between the Haraki, a prominent Kurdish tribe, and a group of Shabak in the troubled Ninevah area. The Shabak are a Shia sect, described by some as Kurds, who live mainly in the Sinjar district of Ninevah.

The trouble flared after the Shabak accused members of the Haraki tribe of taking land from them. This led to clashes that erupted in the village of Dhob Zawa, east of Mosul. As the general secretary of the Shabak Democratic Gathering, Khaneen Gadou, explained, “The crisis was prompted by attempts by the Haraki to take control of huge areas of land totalling almost 4,000 hectares that belong to the Shabak. We tried to stop them and as a result a commotion developed and there were clashes involving light weapons that lasted for four hours.” The violence was sufficiently bad for Kurdish forces within the Iraqi army to have to intervene.

Gadou also complained that the move by the Haraki tribe was supported by the Kurdistan Democratic Party. He told the Al-Hayat newspaper that the Kurds were from Akra and had migrated to the Hamam Al-Aleel area where they began trying to control land that belonged to the Shabak in an attempt to “force a demographic change with the support of the KDP”. He also alleged that the Haraki tribe had the support of a number of Kurdish intelligence personnel who were helping to impose their control over the area to bolster the Kurdish support base in advance of the local election.

For its part, the Kurdish government has tried to distance itself from the issue, insisting that the disturbances were the result of social rather than political problems.

For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.

© 2013 Menas Associates

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