Tensions in Kirkuk and Identity based threats in Iraq

Here is a report on political tensions in Kirkuk, a city on the unofficial dividing line between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq proper.

The scrapping of part of a law encouraging political balance in Iraq’s most ethnically divided province has added to growing pessimism among residents of Kirkuk about the resolution of long-standing disputes over power-sharing….(Read more)

I also conducted an extended interview with ex-Baghdad resident Omar Farooq about the rise in identity based threats and assassinations (IRIN).

In recent months, kidnappings and death threats have also been quietly on the rise. (fortunately, they have not yet reached 2006-7 levels) For Omar Farooq, 34, this new development is a déja-vu. (Read more)

Analysis: failing to address the root causes of violence in Iraq

Photo by Ali Arafa

In September I wrote an analysis piece from Kirkuk on the failures of the authorities to address the root causes of violence.

In the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk, a 58km trench is being dug around Kirkuk City to protect it against violence, as regular bomb attacks and assassinations threaten the safety of its multi-ethnic residents.

But experts say this, like other recent security measures, will ultimately do little because it fails to address the root causes of the violence  (Read more)

Iraq terror deaths reach 1,000 – USA Today

A report for USA Today on insecurity in Iraq this September & the bomb in Erbil, Kurdistan. Almost 1,000 people have been killed in September in Iraq as car bombs have become a near daily occurrence in a country seeing its worst surge of violence in five years.

“Every day when you walk around the city, you feel afraid that there might be an explosion or that someone will attack you,” said Haitham Abid of Baghdad. Because of the violence, he has moved to Zakho, in the Kurdish northern region of Iraq.