Iraq’s Kirkuk: Key Northern Oil Province Has Little Chance Of Achieving Autonomy

Najmaldin Karim, the influential governor of Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk, called for the oil rich province to be granted autonomous status during an interview with Kurdish news outlet Rudaw on 13 June. But despite the rhetoric, such an outcome appears as distant as ever. The vision of the governor, himself a Kurd, faces opposition not just within Baghdad, but also from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The governor called for Kirkuk province to be granted autonomy from Baghdad under Article 115 of the constitution, but for it to remain separate from the KRG. He appears to be calculating that this will provide him with leverage in negotiations with Baghdad over budget disbursements, rather than out of a belief that autonomy is a realistic prospect.


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