Arabs and other minorities claim the ownership of hundreds of acres of Kurdish-owned farmland.
The head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Communities Board said that the attack on Kurdish farmers in Haftagar town is a repetition of Arabization, and the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments must urgently address the issue.
PUK Minorites Bureau Director Hasiba Abdullah said that the assault on Kurdish farmers in Haftagar in Kirkuk's Daquq noted that the purpose of occupying the Kurdish-owned farmland in the disputed territories continue the Arabization policy in Kirkuk, which the late Ba'ath regime adopted to distort the demographics of the province.
Earlier, some Arab farmers went to farm tracts of farmland that belonged to the Kurds, prompting the Kurds to attack the Arabs and forcing them to leave their lands. The Arabs ignored court rulings that proved the Kurdish ownership of the farmlands. In November, Kirkuk's Daquq Court of Appeal ruled the return of over 800 acres of land to Kurdish farmers in the area.
Abdullah noted that the director and the Kurdish leadership have a long-standing duty to address the issue, and the responsibility of the Kurdistan Regional Government is to investigate the dispute. Kurds face many difficulties in the Baghdad-controlled Kirkuk, as raising Kurdistan flag is banned and use of Kurdish language of advertisement billboards is prohibited.
The PUK director explained that it is also the Federal Iraqi Government's primary duty to resolve the issue in accordance with the article of the constitution and the decisions of the High Committee for the Implementation of Article 140. PUK's efforts led to the revival of The High Committee after years of negligence.
The director said that the UN should intervene to solve the issue per the Iraqi constitution and explained that the silence of the Kirkuk administration over the past five years serves as support for the relocated Arabs in their attacks on Kurdish farmers to occupy their agricultural lots.
The head of the PUK's minatory board noted that Arabization feeds on the distortion of the long-standing relationship between the communities of Kirkuk. The director also warned Kirkuk governorate and the Iraqi government of their responsibilities to prevent a full-blown conflict from happening.
The 2017 Kurdistan region referendum led to the expulsion of Kurdistan region peshmerga from Kirkuk and the rest of the disputed territories, leading to a renewed phase of Arabization in the region.