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 Corruption in Southern Kurdistan, its origin, how to challenge it!

 Opinion — Analysis  
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Corruption in Southern Kurdistan, its origin, how to challenge it!  30.7.2012 
By Kaiwan Bahroz
Special to Ekurd.net


Kaiwan Bahroz, a political analyst, human rights activist, an active member of the Norwegian SV party, currently Studying Political Science in Norway.
Read more Kaiwan Bahroz | See Related Links
July 30, 2012

There are a variety of crimes against humanity and lack of basic human rights in Iraqi Kurdistan. One other concern which has been affecting civil people and has become a significant obstacle to democratization is corruption. Corruption is an issue that creates a major burden to economic growth and social development and insecurity. In Iraqi Kurdistan it has indeed done the damage; it has become a hindrance to economic growth in the region. It has indeed affected social development and on top of all, it has caused insecurity amongst the civil people in the region.

In addition to corruption, there are other problems like the lack of freedom of speech in media and journalism. One of the most infamous case is the unsolved murder of the Kurdish journalist Sardasht Osman who wrote about the corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan and of the Kurdish government officials in Iraqi Kurdistan. This has resulted in his murder. Another Journalist was Soran Mama Hama whom he too underwent the same fate and his murder is still unsolved. Murdering people only because they he system in Iraqi Kurdistan can get away with murder, murdering civil people. These types of crimes are described as inhumane. It represents what can be done in Kurdistan without justice. The assassins are still free and will not be brought to justice. Unfortunately, those other types of crimes have an effect on corruption and corruption has a bad influence on strengthening those types of crimes.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) uses its forces in the army to combat anyone who raises their voice to tell the truth. The usage of the army forces was evident in the uprising of the 19th February 2011. This outcome of this led to the murdering of tens of young civil people including school children. The level of the brutality of the Kurdish administration and the security forces is a fact in Iraqi Kurdistan. University students are threatened; their lecturers are detained simply because they want to express their antipathy of the current system and corruption. Educated people, doctors, lawyers are mistreated and threatened. Those people have endured and tolerated insecurity and brutality under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Now, they feel the same insecurity at the hands of the governmental authority in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Corruption has significantly increased in Iraqi Kurdistan; this has become a very severe problem posing a serious issue that is affecting many aspects of civil do not have a plan or a strategy in place to dampen down this serious problem. Combating corruption has to be done through a systematic method that is not contradictory to democracy. The outcome should make gaining a democracy state reachable and not a dream as it is now.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, the KRG and its administration are dominated by the two major political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The members of these two parties have been the main players in making and creating corruption so apparent in the region, this problem is in an increasing trend in Iraqi Kurdistan. Public funds have been wasted by this serious issue. People are aware of it, journalist are desperate to write about it, they want to express views and feelings about it. The lack of freedom of speech has been daunting. It has been an intimidating period for them.

Public funds and resources are misused by individuals in the governmental authority working on the growth of their own private wealth rather than using it for the public services. That is abusing of public resources for private wealth.

Political power in Iraqi Kurdistan controls every aspects of life of the civil people. It has been affecting basic necessities in life. Thus, corruption occurs because political power is used to pursue strengthening personal wealth.

Large amounts of Kurdistan Regional Government funds and resources are moved to the two parties accounts; this has been giving them more power and wealth. A Wealth that cannot be defined as it is all done secretly. This serious problem has been affecting junior members of the political parties too,
www.ekurd.net as this has created a strong dependency of funds to gain private wealth. Thus, giving them the capacity and the power to provide services for money. These services are usually provided by the government funds in countries where corruption is not an issue. Those services can be simple needs of living. People are made and manipulated in to work on the basis of giving bribes. This in its own is redirection of public funds to serve individuals in the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan.


To deal with corruption problem and eradicate it we need to get to the roots of the problem. As this is causing a big economic problem in the region and this has been leading to the monopolization of the economy there. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the major political parties own almost all of the financial deals. Whether those financial deals are legal or illegal, they still own them. The presence of black market has been dominating the financial business. As those deals or making deals involve a politician, so people need to use the method of bribing or corruption to be able to sign any business deal. Thus, without having a political connection, business owners struggle with every day business management. This has been affecting the growth of public funds and investments in the region.

The root of Corruption is very deep in Iraqi Kurdistan where people will continue to suffer because of power of political parties and their corruption.

Some of the minor political parties and independent civil organizations hope in having a designated committee to investigate this issue and find a solution for it. But unfortunately, the power of the two major parties is an obstacle and the impact of this will be creating a society that lacks respect and trust and lack of accountability. In addition, this will be leading to low level of a democratic culture and mistrust within the community.

To tackle this problem and in order to end corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan, Change and Reform should be the only aim in government sectors. This change is necessary to enhance a strong sense of belonging to the society. People should be able to get their own basic human rights. An effort has to be made by everyone who suffers from corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan. With this approach and with the trust that the change in the system will bring back the Kurdistan people fought for. The land that suffered from oppression and suppression in the hands of Iraqi government under the hands of Saddam Hussein for many years.

The country needs to be rebuilt by the people and by the independent civil organizations. The nature of corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan requires a system-wide approach. Anti-corruption programs must be set, it must focus on a broad range of areas including economic systems reform, public awareness campaigns, strengthening civil society organizations and increasing investigation.


Kaiwan Bahroz, a political analyst, human rights activist, an active member of the Norwegian SV party, currently Studying Political Science in Norway. Article for Ekurd.net

Copyright © 2012 Ekurd.net


  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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