Saturday, December 17, 2005

Turkmen says NO to the oil exploration

Salman Mofak

There has been an oil exploration deal agreed between the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and the Norwegian DNO Oil Company. This exploration started to talk place in on November 2005 on the Border City of Zakho.

It is my understanding that no approval was obtained from the central government of Iraq. I am deeply concerned that this situation could become potentially explosive especially during the ethnic and sectarian tensions.

It is to my own and other Turkmen astonishment and outrage that such a deal could strike in light of this new draft constitution, which was approved in October 2005. Clearly the aim of the constitution is to involve all government parties in the formation of energy policy and to agree compensation for all areas of the country that were affected, deprived and damaged by the former regime.

Since the occupation of Iraq in 2003 all revenues generated by the KDP has been distributed away from the rest of Iraq, which goes totally against the remit of the constitution. In other words there is a power abuse by the Kurdish Militia generated by the absence of strong central government and the existence of occupation forces.

It is in my opinion and other Turkmen that the wealth generated in northern Iraq should be equally distributed throughout the whole of the country regardless of race or religion or ethnic background.

If it is the true intention of the DNO to help the Iraqi people then surely the exploration of oil should be made democratic process involving representation from all Iraqi fractions. In this way all of the needs of the Iraqi peoples can be met without prejudice and in total agreement with the new constitution.

The DNO’s action in the North of Iraq can be seen that it is treating and considering north of Iraq as a separate country and also encouraging the Kurds to implement their aspiration by ceding from Iraq and providing them with essential revenue and resources. The DNO’s action in the north of Iraq would be a major contribute factor to civil war.

As a result of this Norway would be considered in the eyes of the Iraqi people as occupied forces. Therefore that would be a great possibility that the position of the Norwegian government would be in jeopardy. This might expose the lives of the Norwegian subjects into danger.