On August 2, locals demonstrated in the Assyrian town of Alqosh in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq against the decision of the municipal council and the Kurdistan Regional Government to dismiss the mayor of the district Faiz Abd Mikha for political reasons.
According to Iraqi sources, the Kurdistan Regional Government dismissed Mikha and replaced him with a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Lara Yusuf.
The protestors demanded that Mikha be reinstated and stressed that the new mayor has no support in the Assyrian dominated Alqosh town.
In a statement, the protesters accused the municipal council of imposing this forceful decision, seizing power and oppressing the freedom of opinion. Faiz Abd Mikha was considered the last Assyrian member of the municipal council.
It’s believed that the latest decisions by the Kurdistan Regional Government are a part of the preparations for the referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region scheduled on September 25, 2017.
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani said that “Kurds have come to believe that they are unwanted in Iraq, and that they are not accepted as citizens and partners, this will lead to conflicts between Kurds and Iraqis, and in order to avoid this, we decided to hold a referendum on secession from Iraq.”
According to a RT report, many Kurdish parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, including Al-Taghieer Movement and the Islamic Group, along with minorities in the Kurdistan region, such as Assyrians and Turkmen, opposed the referendum. Many believe that the Kurdish region is not ready yet for independence and that it still suffers from major internal problems.