Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Furore Over Kirkuk Police Sacking "Order"

Furore Over Kirkuk Police Sacking "Order"
Apparently bogus interior ministry directive to dismiss thousands of Kurdish policemen seen as an attempt to destabilse the city.
By Sirwan Ghareeb in Kirkuk (ICR No. 129, 22-Jun-05)
The interior ministry has sought to distance itself from an apparent order to fire 2,500 Kurdish police officers working in Kirkuk, after protests from city law enforcement officials.
Kirkuk police claim that they received an order from the interior ministry two weeks ago to fire the Kurdish police officers.
The officers in question had once been expelled from Kirkuk as part of Saddam Hussein's Arabisation policy - which had forced Kurds to leave the oil-rich city – and rehired after the fall of the regime.
Interior ministry spokesman Colonel Adnan al-Asadi said that officials there were unaware of the directive, while Lateef Haji Faraj, representative of President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, in the ministry, said it had been drawn up long ago but was no longer valid.