Wednesday 18 October 2017

Iraq courts issue arrest warrants for organisers of Kurdish vote

A boy with a Kurdish flag in the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk (AP)
A boy with a Kurdish flag in the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk (AP)

Iraq's federal courts have issued arrest warrants for the members of the Kurdish electoral commission that organised last month's independence referendum.

The office of Iraq prime minister Haidar al-Abadi said on Wednesday it would execute the warrants, but it is unclear how it would do so as federal forces do not operate in the autonomous Kurdish region.

The arrest warrants are the latest move by Baghdad to pressure Kurdish authorities to disavow the referendum, in which more than 90% of voters supported independence.

Mr al-Abadi's government said the vote was unconstitutional.

It was a non-binding vote and Kurdish authorities have not declared statehood.

Earlier this week, Baghdad demanded Kurdish-based mobile phone operators move their headquarters to Baghdad.

It also ordered the restoration of a pipeline bypassing the Kurdish region to export oil to Turkey.


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