- Title: IRAQ: KURDS DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES IN SULEIMANIYA.
- Date: 3rd October 2004
- Summary: (U6) SULEIMANIYA, IRAQ (OCTOBER 2, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS OF THOUSANDS OF KURDS DEMONSTRATING OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT OFFICES IN SULEIMANIYA (9 SHOTS) 1.03 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 18th October 2004 13:00
- Location: SULEIMANIYA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA26DTLZRV9MVU4PRP13J6DT250
- Story Text: Tens of thousands of Kurds demonstrated outside
provincial government offices Saturday in the northern
Iraqi city of Suleimaniya.
Tens of thousands of Kurds demonstrated outside
provincial government offices on Saturday (October 2),
demanding that the turbulent, oil hub of Kirkuk be made
part of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
A tense confrontation has been building in Kirkuk, with
hardline Kurdish politicians demanding the departure of
some 200,000 Arabs who settled here during a campaign by
Saddam Hussein's regime to increase the Arab population in
oil-rich parts of northern Iraq.
"Kurdistan means nothing without Kirkuk," read banners
carried by the demonstrators marching in Suleimaniyah. They
called for a referendum to decide the future of all Kurds
in Iraq. They also demanded that the two main Kurdish
parties that now control the north unite under one banner.
A second, similar protest, drawing about 1,000
demonstrators, occurred in Kirkuk itself. Demonstrations
were reported in other northern cities.
Demonstrations such as Saturday's appear aimed to increase
pressure ahead of Iraq's general election in January, with
the Kurdish parties looking to bring Kirkuk province into
the orbit of the autonomous Kurdish lands.
Sunni Arabs in particular oppose incorporating the city
into the Kurdish zone. Under the fallen regime, the Kurdish
minorities were brutally persecuted, but an autonomous
region was created for them in the north following the 1991
The Kurds, who make up about 20 per cent of Iraq's 25
million people, have been promised that their autonomous
region in the north will be maintained under the new
constitution due to be drawn up after the January
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