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Dear List, The Al-Ahram Weekly article describes Mr. Barham Saleh as the "Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)". Yet, the home page of the KRG gives the information that the Prime Minister of the KRG is Mr. Nechirvan Barzani. He is the son of the late Idriss Barzani, the older son of the late Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani. In reality there are two competing governments, each representing one of the two major Kurdish groups. Barham Saleh represents Jalal Talabani's group, the PUK, while Nechirvan Barzani represents Masoud Barzani's group, the KDP.The first is in Sulaimaniya and the second is in Arbil. If that proves anything, it certainly gives reason to wonder that if the Kurdish factions can not agree on their own regional government, how can they agree with other ethnic, religious and political groups in the complex Iraq? The seats in the Kurdish Parliament, which was elected in May 1992, were equally divided between the PUK and KDP. But the conflicts soon appeared. And the reason is obvious: money and power. Barzani faction controls the area along the Turkish border, where trucks loaded with oil products moved from Iraq to Turkey, bringing back Turkish and other products on daily basis. Barzani's faction has long resisted sharing tax revenues with Talabani's group, which does not control any territory along the Turkish border and thus cannot collect its own. The economic disparity between the two zones is glaringly obvious and so too is the lingering distrust between the two parties. Military checkpoints on the frontier demarcating the two sides remain in place. Thus fighting erupted in 1994, and in September 1996 Barzani's troops allied with Saddam Hussein seized control of the northern Iraqi town of Sulaimaniya from rival Talabani's troops. KDP soldiers took the strategic town of Dokan, the site of a major dam that controls the water and power supplies to the region. The KDP issued a statement claiming to control the whole of northern Iraq after several weeks of clashes with the PUK. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to reconciliation is both leaders' insistence that one acknowledge the supremacy of the other. Barzani repeatedly has demanded that Talabani acknowledge his party's victory in elections the Iraqi Kurds held in 1992. Thumping his fist emphatically on his desk during an interview in 1998, Talabani said: "I will never, ever do that." The conflicts continued until late 2002, in spite of numerous mediation efforts by the US. Though the Kurdish different factions seem to be united now after the overthrow of the regime in Baghdad, there are no guarantees that the current honeymoon would not be like its previous ones. HZ __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo. http://search.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk