[While I'm catching up on the coalition interference in Libyan insurgency]
The peacocks posture and lie about the Libyan insurgency while the allied forces are pulling out of Iraq where there is no firm border defined between the Kurdish and Arab territories.
Iraq and the Kurds: Confronting Withdrawal Fears
In the past, Crisis Group has argued that Kirkuk should gain special status as a stand-alone governorate, under neither Baghdad’s nor Erbil’s direct control, for an interim period, with a mechanism for ultimately resolving its status, and with a power-sharing arrangement in which political representatives of the main ethnic and religious groups are represented fairly. A deal along these lines appears within reach, and now is the time to pursue it. In January, building on their success in forming the coalition government, Baghdad and Erbil negotiated a tactical agreement on oil exports from the Kurdistan region whose implementation should prove beneficial to both. They ought to take this a step further by starting talks on the range of issues that have plagued their post-2003 relationship.
In June 2009, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) set up a high-level task force whose stated goal was to work toward a negotiated solution – initially through confidence-building mechanisms – for the disputed territories, the broad swathe of land from the Syrian to the Iranian border that Kurds claim as historically part of Kurdistan. UNAMI realised full well, however, that the task force was unlikely to make progress in the months leading up to and following legislative elections, so its real objective was to keep the parties at the table until a new government was formed. This period, which lasted a year and a half, has now come to an end; today, the initiative should be invested with new life.
At the core of the territorial dispute lies the disposition of Kirkuk, the name for three separate but overlapping entities – city, governorate and super-giant oil field – that are subject to competing claims. The 2005 constitution lays out a process for resolving the status of Kirkuk and other disputed areas, but it has run aground on profound differences over interpretation and lack of political will. Meanwhile, the situation in the disputed territories has been left to fester. In areas with a rich ethnic mix, such as Kirkuk city and several districts of Ninewa governorate, this has produced strong tensions and politically-motivated provocations aimed at sparking inter-communal conflict.
To prevent small incidents from escalating into a broader conflagration, the U.S. military in 2009 established so-called combined security mechanisms along the trigger line – the line of control between the Iraqi army and the Kurdish regional guard force, known as the peshmergas, that runs along the disputed region’s spine. The mechanisms’ key features are joint checkpoints and patrols involving army and guard force personnel with embedded U.S. officers, as well as coordination centres designed to improve communication and build trust between the two sides. Moreover, Baghdad and Erbil agreed to a set of rules governing the deployment of their respective security forces in these areas.
Together, these steps have reduced tensions, but the security forces’ presence and posture in their designated sectors remind a weary population the conflict is far from resolved. The standoff between the army and the peshmergas in Kirkuk’s environs, in particular, and provocative conduct of the Kurdish security police, the asaesh, inside the city augur trouble for the period after U.S. withdrawal, scheduled for the end of 2011. Events in late February-early March, when peshmerga forces deployed around Kirkuk city over the vehement protestations of local Arab and Turkoman leaders, were another warning that the security situation, relatively stable since 2003, may not hold. /Overview PDF - Full PDF – Press release (Crisis Group)
Latest from Libya.
(TV) The rag tag insurgents’ taxies are taking them away from Bin Jawad as government forces advance.
Over 300,000 have fled the coalition bombing and the insurgency. How long does it take illegals to get from S. Italy to the French “UK immigrant aid points”? The next surge will bring Cameron even greater disapproval over the war against the Libyan government and interference in the insurgency.
Italians block port in protest over migrants. Fishermen on Lampedusa seal off harbour in symbolic demonstration against flow of illegal immigrants.
Sen. Rand Paul Responds to President Obama’s Address (Youtube video)
The Libyan situation developed from violent protests in Benghazi that turned to armed insurgency and civil war when the west intervened.
Libya Live AlJ
President Barack Obama told Americans on Monday the United States would work with its allies to hasten the day when Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi leaves power, but would not use force to topple him.
Back to the TV. “We fell into a trap” and “The plan for most of these youngsters seems to have been to drive along this road to see how far they could get.” They have seen. The insurgents outside Sirte appear to have been isolated. Will their air force come to the rescue?
A Chatham House rep takes the first step towards a reversal of Cameron’s “get Gaddafi” objective by reiterating Obama’s statement that regime change is not in the purview when asked about the meeting of the eager and not so eager Libyan war mongers attending the NATO meeting.
“Pro democracy army” redefined back to “pro democracy protesters”.
Misurata, Government forces are making headway whilst the coalition is bombing 3 Libyan ships there “in case they fire on civilians”. Puke-worthy.