Kakai people under threat of forced migration in Kirkuk

Kakai villages in Kirkuk’s Daquq district have been subjected to many ISIS attacks in the past, and are now facing pressure from Arabs settled in the region.

Following the independence referendum held in the Federal Kurdistan Region last year, Kirkuk was surrounded by Iraqi forces on October 16. With the siege, Iraqi forces started to change the demographic structure.

After Rakan Juburi was appointed the proxy governor of Kirkuk on October 17, a new campaign of oppression started against the Kakai villages. Arab residents settled in the region carried out an armed raid on the Ferik village in Daquq on December 25, after which the Kakais were asked to leave their homes within 4 days.

A farmer from the Ferik village who wishes to remain anonymous said, “We visited the Iraqi security forces and told them we were threatened with guns. They did nothing.”

The farmer said Iraqi security forces told them that they don’t intervene in such matters and told them “to resolve the issue themselves”.

30 families have had to move away due to threats against Kakai villages in the region in the last 2 months.

Salahaddin Provincial Assembly Member Mela Hasan Germiyani said, “Arabs coming from outside attacked the village.”

Germiyan added: “Arabs brought from outside have travelled throughout the region with support from Iraqi security forces,” but didn’t offer any solutions to the issue.

Avaye Dara and Ali Mansur villages in the Heftexar area, made up of 4 villages in the Daquq region, as well as the Abdulaxanim, Kobani, Ebunejim villages in the Talabani region were raided and residents were asked to leave.

It is said that the reason for the pressure against Kurds in the vicinity of Kirkuk and throughout the disputed territories in general has been caused by the lack of a governor to date.

The reason the governor hasn’t been elected is said to be that a meeting with all Kirkuk City Council Members attending hasn’t been held.

KDP representatives haven’t attended any of the Kirkuk City Council meetings from October 2017 onwards, which poses the biggest obstacle to the election of a new governor. The KDP isn’t attending these meetings because they want the governorate of Kirkuk to be given to them.

The PUK claims Kirkuk is their territory and that they have the right to the governorate as per a previous agreement with the KDP. The region’s residents see this disagreement between the KDP and PUK and the non-election of the governor as the fundamental reason for the threats against Kakais and all Kurds.