Kurdistan region development issues after protests (reasons, results and suggestions)

The effects of the political and economic situations in Kurdistan and Iraq meet civilians with several difficulties after the ISIS crisis in 2014.
PM:10:49:13/12/2020
Civilian war in Kurdistan has ruined Kurdistan’s economy and Kurdish cause in the international arena.

Bahrooz Jaafar
Oil expert

Implementation Summary

The crisis took place for a long period. Lack of salary distribution, jobless and social justice are annoyed the civilians. These are along with several regional and global changes, which Turkey and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) insist on their efforts in South and North Kurdistan.

First: Political economy in the Kurdistan region

After ending the Cold War in (1989), Second Gulf War in (1991), and the Global, marketing and interests opening up, a great opportunity occurred to Kurds by the initiatives of the United States of America. They were intended no-fly zone for Kurds of Iraqi Kurdistan and such a kind of autonomy was available for them, which led to forming Kurdistan regional government (KRG) and Kurdistan parliament. Two powerful political parties (Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the region instead of writing a draft of constitution provide rights of freedom to citizens and involved in civil war for four years due to personnel interests.

Once again, the US and Britain in 2003 ruined Baath regime and Saddam in less than a month. This was a golden opportunity in the sectors of economy, politics and diplomacy. Kurdistan region could progress because there was not a constitution. However, economic and political developments changed to corruption and personnel competition to positions and political interests as well.

Hereafter, in order to understand the political economy in the Kurdistan region, particularly after the ISIS crisis, we can distinguish the economic features of Kurdistan oil in four areas:

First: having a weak economic system (the economy relies on cash). The world is going to leave (Business Card System) and (ATM) into Electronic Currency, but the Kurdistan region still in the arena of depending on cash-money. David Ricardo was a British political economist; one of the most influential classical economists (1772-1823). In the twenty-first century, it would not possible to do not understand the reality that why in (2013) Kurdistan region’s revenue was 13 billion, but due do the lack of economic system in 2015 the revenue of the region close to (zero) besides some external loans. What is noticed is a paradox which until the petroleum industry of the region develops; the economic crisis will increase as well.

Second: depending too much on oil sector. The income of Kurdistan region from (2017–2019) was only (5-7) percent depended on taxes. It does not mean to increase the taxes on civilians, but it means to arrange the system of the tax in the region in a way that suits personal income and public productions.

Third: the numerous roles of government in the oil sector. The private sector decreased due to take over 60 percent of the public sector in the oil process and expending most of the oil incomes in Local Expenditure.

Fourth: depends on imports. The Kurdistan region only relies on oil. There is not diverse income source and local profits are used on behalf of two powerful political parties’ interests (KDP) and (PUK).

Second: spreading PKK in Kurdistan region

 

Wherever PKK is, Turkey is there. In recent years, PKK from Qandil spread to Sinjar, to Sulaimani, to Sharbazher, to Penjwen and city centers. PKK is entering Kurdistan lands from Gara Mountain to Chamanke. Last November PKK and Peshmarga forces attack each other three times in three different places: Gre located between Bekes Mountain, Syan Mountain in the south of Gara mountains, and Isra and Kanki village and then on Bashmishe in Dinarta in Akre.

KDP understood the reality that if the situation goes on in this way, thus the paved roads only remain under his hands. PUK from the beginning provided much helps to PKK and its organization. But now, PUK understood the same reality that PKK becomes a risk to its security and region’s security. But he does not know how to deal with them.

Third: the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

An agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is another threat to KRI. Israel is afraid of his citizenships being attack in some countries and regions; KRI comes as one of the places, according to Israel Prime Minister spokesman to Iran’s MEHR News Agency. Israel produces 5,977 barrel oils per days, but its need is (236,249) barrel per day, the country imports about 92 percent of its requirements from abroad. In this matter, buying Kurdistan oil is becomes hot news of Qatarya channel "Al-Jazeera”, which Qatar allies of Turkey of Erdoğan.

Turkey will adapt in every way to control the import of the oil and natural gas of KRI. Thus the import of KRI will face several difficulties by Turkey and Iran.

UAE follows the Arabic spring always in problems with Turkey. From Libya to KRI, UAE has projects to be against Turkey’s influences. For now, which Israel and UAE signed the agreement, thus Turkey takes a strong reaction from everywhere.

In another meaning, in KRI two other projects look at themselves as an alternative of two political parties (KDP) and (PUK), who are PKK and Muslim Brotherhood.!

Suggestions

 

First/ what is completely relate to people’s standard life level, each of KDP and PUK should take quick action to make better their lives through uniting the border incomes, taxes and at least distribute three months’ salary consequently in their political parties’ capitals.

Second/ Gorran Movement and PUK unit as soon as possible and do not waste time. Zargata Hill can be used for investment, especially by foreign investors. Its income assesses between (600 – 700 Million USD) and will provide great job opportunities for Sulaimani citizens.

Third/ Kurdish political parties have to reconcile among themselves before make an agreement with Baghdad. They do not have let to leak the information in meeting to social media and only permit ensure persons to participate in the meetings.

Fourth/ create a committee with experts to observe the entire process of Hydrocarbons and liquids at this stage, which includes (contracts, extraction, filtering, local fields, imports, marketing and lobbying).

Fifth/ Turkey is not concerned with Masrour Barzani cabinet as was with Nechirvan Barzani and has experienced with him. From here, economic platform and KRI diplomacy should rely on strong allies that exist in the Mediterranean Sea Border lead by France, NATO and the US.

Sixth/ Iraq in 2014 recorded a complaint against Turkey in (International Court of Arbitration- ICC) due to Turkey violate Iraq’s sovereignty in oil contracts with KRI which was signed in 2013 without referred to Iraq. On both sides, either Turkey or Iraq win, the KRI will be the loser. Therefore, Iraq steps toward an early-election, thus KRI should strengthen the relations with Baghdad government and provide natural gas to Baghdad to gain political support, and then he has to use his lobby for behalf of escape from dilemma.

Results

People’s demonstrations are not the outcome of a day or days if this time sending them back home, but in the next wave, they will come back to streets very severely. Particularly in Sulaimani after February 17, 2011, which several times it’s mentioned "unrest areas” by UN and US.

Each PKK and Muslim Brotherhood are preparing themselves as two alternative projects of KDP and PUK in the area. The political views of PUK, Goran Movement and KDP create this situation and none of them can show him as an opposition. In their understandings, they do not formulate a comprehensive and nation-building plan. However, they merely observe the circumstances till Joe-Biden will run the presidency of the US in January 2021 in order to make easier their missions.


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