Ethnic divisions in northern Iraq: bad news for minorities

Kurdish boys herding sheep in Iraq (photo:

Kurdish boys herding sheep in Iraq (photo:

Baghdad’s north is increasingly divided between Arabs and Kurds and, according to Human Rights Watch, is highly detrimental to the other minority populations living in Iraq. In a recent publication On Vulnerable Ground  the group explains that minorities remain vulnerable to attacks by Sunni Arab extremists and intimidation from Kurdish forces. Iraqi minorities are indeed trapped between these two larger ethnic group in a conflict that spans decades.

At issue are the oil-rich territories which are contested by both the Arab and Kurdish communities. The report alleges that Kurdish authorities are not only trying to take possession of these territories but also to intimidate the residents of this region, who are members of other ethnic minorities, into adopting the Kurdish identity.

Human Rights Watch is calling for an impartial investigation into the violence that has been perpetrated against members of minority groups in the Northern Nineveh region of Iraq.

To read the report, On Vulnerable Ground, click here.

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