A committee formed on behalf of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, and led by Dr. Amir Ciburi, have conducted an on-site assessment in Kirkuk’s Newroz neighbourhood, which is currently under siege by the Iraqi army. The delegation’s visit aimed to observe the conditions and engage in dialogue with the local residents.
This visit follows escalating tensions in Newroz, which has been a focal point of protests against efforts to settle non-indigenous Arabs. On 7 January, unidentified gunmen targeted Kurdish citizens amid their protests against the Iraqi army’s eviction attempts and resettlement efforts. Despite a directive from Prime Minister Sudani to withdraw forces from Newroz, the army’s presence reportedly continues, heightening the local community’s distress.
“We will present the residents’ demands to the Prime Minister. No problem is without a solution,” stated Ciburi, after completing their assessment and meetings. He mentioned that they visited the neighbourhood on the prime minister’s instructions to listen to the demands of the people of Kirkuk.
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) member Hakim Elmas Fazıl, who participated in the meetings, spoke to Roj News about the discussions. “A committee was formed by the prime minister’s orders, and this committee visited the Newroz neighbourhood. We provided the committee with all documents guaranteeing the rights of the people. We want the houses either to be sold or rented to the public. The owner of these houses is the state, not the Defence Ministry. The meetings will continue tomorrow. The committee will be transparent in its work,” Fazıl said.