February 19, 2011

KDP’s Shocking Reaction to Uprising in City of Sulaymaniah

How Genuine Popular Revolutions Begin - By Mufid Abdulla

I knew I should see for myself the impact of these revolutions on the streets of Kurdistan. In the midst of the uprisings and brewing revolution all over the Arab world the people in Sulaymaniah in the south of Kurdistan have not wasted any time and commenced their own uprising on the 17th February 2011. The anger and frustration of young people started weeks ago and their first action was the organised gathering in Saray Square in the downtown district of Sulaymaniah. Yesterday the protesters headed for the headquarters of the KDP in the main street of Slam Street.

There is clear footage of the demonstrations being broadcast which starts with images of the peaceful demonstrations and changes to images of the throwing of stones into the headquarters of the KDP. The leading Party’s reaction of course follows the same method as the Baathist Party did in the past when they fired a shower of bullets all over the protesters under the pretext of self-defence; according to the latest news so far two people have been killed and 56 people injured in the current clashes. Of course a representative from the KDP committee in Sulaymaniah, Hiwa Amed, has accused the Gorran movement, without any evidence, of stirring the protesters. However, so far surprisingly police and security forces have not come to defend the KDP headquarters; a very interesting development. The KDP reaction is the same as that of 25th July 2009 in Hawler; when at this time they burnt the offices of Gorran in Hawler and Dhok and Soran.

As Chairman Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”. Considering the shocking reaction of the KDP leadership and grassroots organisations to these events, I have to ask, what is the difference between the Somali pirates and the KDP militia group? Both have one thing in common; an unconventional army who are working on their ringleader’s orders. This shocking reaction did not surprise me and other observers because the KDP has no language of dialogue and communication with their own people. Today’s events are another nail in the coffin of those who claim that the KDP is a modern party. Given the complexity of the Barzani tribe it is clear that the KDP love blood and revenge.

But it is much too early to expect the KDP to understand that this is a social and economic revolution. A political and social revolution is not a single act, but a process. It shouldn’t have been hard to work out. This is not going to finish by burning the Gorran headquarters anywhere in this world, this is a course of history, which we cannot reverse. But the social and political upheaval shows every sign of spreading. The evidence of the uprising reflects a profound social process that is unlikely to be derailed before it has delivered much more radical change.

The sources of the uprising are as follows: poor basic services; high unemployment; inflation; corruption by politicians added to the fact that this is a country whose President is Barzani, acting Prime Minister is Barzani’s son-in-law and local authority homeland is Barzani’s. He has been with us for the last 50 years. If anybody visits the suburbs of Sulaymaniyah and Hawler they will find out first-hand that the poverty in that country is related to the exploitation of oil and all other natural resources.

Finally, the KDP leaders must be well aware that they have more to gain from compromise than a general civil war. Unfortunately, the KDP leaders in the south of Kurdistan usually have very little love for compromise, and would sooner risk everything for personal victory; that was our experience in the past. The Gorran Party are a civil and democratic movement who have taken their parliamentary roots to change the course of politics in Kurdistan. All rival leaders need dialogue and understanding and this nation cannot afford any more bloodshed at the expense of this poor nation. The KDP’s ruthlessness and cruelty have swept them away from the government unless they set up a committee of inquiry into the killing of these people and those injured in yesterday’s demonstration.


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