8 April 2004
Iraq's Kurds - Toward an Historic Compromise?
This report addresses the demands of the Kurdish minority in Northern Iraq for wide-ranging autonomy in a region that includes the oil-rich governorate of Kirkuk. The paper introduces the kind of federalism that the US interim administration negotiated and assesses whether the Kurds’ aspirations tend more toward independence or just autonomy. Subsequently, the paper sheds light on the tensions surrounding oil-rich Kirkuk and reviews the Kurdish elites’ willingness to strike a compromise. The paper argues that both the occupying forces and the UN must step in and mediate a fair resolution of competing claims.
© 2004 International Crisis Group (Crisis Group)
International Crisis Group
The report contains maps of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.