Kurdistan under threat after referendum / Corsican autonomy / Palestine joins Interpol

23 to 29 September

Iraqi and Kurdish flags.
Iraqi and Kurdish flags. Author: US Department of Defense
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. According to the official preliminary results of the South Kurdistan referendum on self-determination, more than 92% of voters backed independence. Iraq, Turkey and Iran are threatening the South Kurdish government with retaliation. Palestine goes one step further in its international recognition after joining Interpol. In Europe, Corsican parties say they will seek legislative autonomy for Corsica within France in 3 years time. In Chile, a hunger strike by 4 Mapuche prisoners is still going on after 115 days.


South Kurdistan under threat after referendum “yes” victory. The governments of Iraq, Turkey and Syria are set to meet at a trilateral summit to jointly decide their response to the Kurdish independence referendum held on September 25. 92.73% of voters supported South Kurdistan independence from Iraq, while 7.27% rejected it. Turnout was 72%.

The first measures taken by the Iraqi government —which deems the vote as illegal— include ordering the cancellation of all international flights to South Kurdish capital Erbil, and asking all foreign diplomatic missions to leave the Kurdish autonomous region. The Iraqi Parliament has also approved sending troops to Kirkuk, a region controlled by Kurdish soldiers —the Peshmerga—, which is disputed by the Kurdish and Iraqi governments.

Ankara, on the other hand, has threatened to cut oil trade between South Kurdistan and Turkey. In Eastern Kurdistan (Iran), more than one hundred people celebrating the referendum result have been arrested.


Palestine joins Interpol. The interstate organization for police coordination has admitted the State of Palestine on September 27 in secret election in which the Solomon Islands have also joined the group. Palestine had submitted its application for full membership in 2015. Israeli media admit the decision amounts to a “diplomatic defeat” for the Israeli government, which had attempted to block Palestine from joining Interpol. Another two non-independent countries —Curaçao and Aruba— are Interpol members.

3 years to get a Statute of Autonomy for Corsica. Pro-autonomy (Femu in Corsica) and pro-independence (Corsica Libera) Corsican parties have agreed to run under a joint alliance, as of the first round, to the December 2017 Assembly of Corsica election. Both parties, which since the 2015 election hold the Corsican government, have unveiled the pillars of their manifesto, which highlight their main goal of achieving a Statute of Autonomy for Corsican within 3 years’ time. The parties argue the Statute should grant the island legislative and fiscal autonomy, and allow co-official status for Corsican and French.

Bad health condition for Mapuche hunger strikers after 115 days of protest. Alfredo Tralcal, Ariel Trangol, Benito Trangol and Pablo Trangol, who have been held in prison in Chile since 2016, started a hunger strike 7 July, 2017, as they argue their imprisonment is irregular. The hunger striking Mapuche are accused of having set a church on fire. But they denounce that they are being held solely because an anonymous witness said he had seen a van similar to that of Tralcal close to the church. The Mapuche movement regards them as political prisoners. Two of the strikers had to be admitted to the hospital. Protests have erupted in Chile and throughout America in solidarity with the four prisoners.