Athra Alliance calls for political dialogue to defuse Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk) crisis, uphold demonstrators’ rights

ANKAWA, Iraq — In a resolute statement, the Athra Alliance has urgently appealed to political leaders to address the escalating crisis in Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk), Iraq. The Alliance underscored the fundamental right of citizens to peaceful demonstration, firmly rooted in the Iraqi Constitution, and has urged that popular demands be met in accordance with Iraqi laws and constitutional principles.

Comprising five Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties — Bethnahrin Patriotic Union (Huyodo Bethnahrin Athroyo, HBA), the Assyrian Patriotic Party, Abnaa al-Nahrain, the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), and the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian Popular Council — the Athra Alliance emphasized their deep concern regarding the unfolding events in Kerkeslokh, where political disputes have spilled onto the streets, engendering widespread public discontent.

The Athra Alliance unequivocally affirmed its support for Iraqi’s constitutional right to engage in peaceful demonstrations. It expressed profound sorrow over the casualties among demonstrators and the disruptions to both public and private interests resulting from the ensuing chaos.

The statement concluded by calling for a concerted effort to contain the crisis through meaningful dialogue among political leaders. Such dialogue is seen as crucial to forestalling an escalation of the situation and its potentially dire consequences.

Furthermore, the statement implores political and governmental parties to shoulder their responsibilities and diligently pursue peaceful avenues for resolving differences while meeting the legitimate demands of the people, in accordance with the law.

Kerkeslokh has witnessed demonstrations led by Kurdish protesters demanding the reopening of the road to Erbil which has been closed since the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) took control of the city nearly five years ago.