Following parliamentary intervention

Kurdish farmers in Sergaran area allowed to harvest their crops

SERGARAN  — Kurdish farmers in the Sergaran subdistrict of Kirkuk have received authorization from Iraqi authorities to resume harvesting their crops as of today, marking a significant development following the lifting of a temporary restriction.

The removal of this restriction, considered a relative victory for Kurdish farmers, follows the intervention of a committee led by Shakhawan Abdullah, Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament.

Mohammed Sergarani, representing the Kurdish farmers, affirmed the resolution to 964media, stating, “The committee formed to address our concerns, led by Shakhawan Abdullah, visited Sergaran, and as a result, it was decided that from today, Kurdish farmers can resume harvesting.”

The visit by the parliamentary committee to Sergaran is part of broader efforts to address land disputes involving Kurdish farmers and Arab settlers in the area.

In recent years, empowered by the appointment of an Arab governor, Arab settlers in Kirkuk, supported by the Army and security forces, have consistently sought to intimidate Kurds into vacating their areas and seizing their properties.

Sabah Habib, a member of the Iraqi Parliament, confirmed the formation of a new parliamentary commission aimed at resolving these disputes. The commission, comprising members from both the Kirkuk administration and the central government, is tasked with resolving land disputes and ensuring the return and compensation of displaced Kurdish farmers.

Habib emphasized the proactive stance of the commission, stating, “If the documentation is ready, we can start immediately, and the committee has also said they will revisit the matter in five months.” Following this timeframe, Arab settlers in the area with appropriate documentation will be permitted to stay; however, Kurdish residents will uphold their demands for land ownership if documentation is lacking, Habib asserted.

This initiative is a response to longstanding disputes over land rights exacerbated by demographic shifts and political changes in the region, including systematic Arabization ethnic cleansing campaigns since the 1960s.

Iraq’s 2005 Constitution delineated a three-phase “normalization” solution in Article 140, which entailed the return of Arab settlers to their original areas and the restitution of usurped properties to Kurds. Subsequently, a referendum was planned to determine whether residents of the “normalized” areas preferred to join the Kurdistan Regional Government or remain under federal government control. However, despite the 2007 deadline for the normalization process, these constitutional provisions remain unimplemented.