Iraq: UN mission details options for resolving internal boundary disputes

5 June 2008

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) today presented its first analysis to the country’s Government about possible processes to resolve disputes over internal boundaries.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) today presented its first analysis to the country’s Government about possible processes to resolve disputes over internal boundaries.

The mission said in a statement today that Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, had presented separate analytical reports on four disputed districts – Akre, Ninewa; Hamdaniya, Ninewa; Makhmour, Ninewa/Erbil; and Mandali, Diyala – to five senior Iraqi officials.

“I want to stress that the Government of Iraq alone has the sovereign responsibility to decide on the process and methodology used to address disputed internal boundaries,” Mr. de Mistura said.

UNAMI’s aim in preparing and presenting this analysis is merely to contribute to the development of processes to resolve these complicated and sensitive issues.”

The analysis follows a general agreement reached last December, ahead of the deadline set out in the constitution, among the Presidency Council, with the concurrence of the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The analysis points to a series of specific confidence-building measures designed to assist with the handling of the administrative jurisdiction of the districts in dispute, including in areas where there are tensions between Arab and Kurdish populations as well as other minority groups. UNAMI’s goal is to provide security to all Iraqis living in the disputed territories, and to create momentum towards a wider political agreement.

The UN mission also said that it has recently established a presence in Kirkuk, which it described as central to efforts to address disputed internal boundaries in Iraq. UNAMI said it would continue to engage with all communities in the city.

“Everyone recognizes that progress on the resolution of disputed internal boundaries – which we are aware are not limited to northern Iraq, with some in central and southern parts of the country – and clarification of administrative alignment must take place alongside wider political compromises that reassure the people of Iraq and solidify the unity of the Iraqi State,” Mr. de Mistura said.

 

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