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The Kurds as parties to and victims of conflicts in Iraq

31-12-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 868, by Inga Rogg, Hans Rimscha

After decades of fighting and suffering, the Kurds in Iraq have achieved far-reaching self-rule. Looking at the history of conflicts and alliances between the Kurds and their counterparts inside Iraq and beyond its borders, the authors find that the region faces an uncertain future. A federal and democratic Iraq however, could offer a rare opportunity for a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish question in Iraq - and for national reconciliation.

   

Inga Rogg is Iraq correspondent for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and NZZ am Sonntag. She graduated in cultural anthropology and Ottoman history and has done extensive research in the Kurdish region.
Hans Rimscha graduated in Islamic studies and   anthropology, worked with humanitarian assistance operations in Iraq in the 1990sand is the author of various publications on Middle East issues. 
 
Abstract 
After decades of fighting and suffering, the Kurds in Iraq have achieved far-reaching self-rule. Looking at the history of conflicts and alliances between the Kurds and their counterparts inside Iraq and beyond its borders, the authors find that the region faces an uncertain future because major issues like the future status of Kirkuk remain unsolved. A federal and democratic Iraq offers a rare opportunity for a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish question in Iraq – and for national reconciliation. While   certain groups and currents in Iraq and the wider Arab world have to overcome the notion that federalism equals partition, the Kurds can only dispel fears about their   drive for independence if they fully reintegrate into Iraq and show greater commitment to democratic reforms in the Kurdistan Region.  

   
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