Iraq’s Diyala Province to Seek Autonomy

Protests After Second Province Eyes Relative Independence From Central Government

Following in the footsteps of the Salahuddin Province, the Iraqi Province of Diyala has today announced, after a contentious provincial council vote, that they are seeking semi-autonomous region status.

Salahuddin made their announcement in late October, saying that they wanted administrative and economic autonomy within a “unified Iraq.” Though some have questioned the constitutional basis of such a move it appears aimed at creating a comparable situation to that which exists in Kurdistan.

The Diyala Province vote was 16-13, and saw rare unity between the province’s Sunni-dominated Iraqiya Party and the Kurdish blocs, who seem to be rallying behind a rejection of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s increasing centralization.

Security officials suggested the move didn’t sit well with everyone, however, as they reported protests in several major Diyala towns. The exact size of the protests was not clear, but the matter is likely to remain a controversial one, particular along sectarian lines.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.