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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 28, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta SOVIET UNION Areas where Kurds live Refugees seek shelter Thursday, March LETHBRIOQE HERALD-11 in snowclad mountains Kurds gird for assault from Baghdad By JOHN K. COOLEY Christian Science Monitor KURDISH HEADQUAR- TERS, Northern Iraq The Muslim, non-Arab Kurds in northern Iraq have not accepted the Iraqi Government's offer of limited regional autonomy and this raises the prospect of renewed fighting similar to that in the 1960's. In fact the fighters of the Pesh Merga, the Kurdish guerrilla army, are preparing to defend again the over mile mountain territory which they hold, if the Iraqi Army attacks them In an austere setting of high snowclad mountains, Pesh Merga soldiers wearing the distinctive red keffia headdress of the Barzani tribe are alert for a possible surprise assault by the Baghdad government's forces Also thousands of colorfully Rich but powerless party will ponder fate Saturday By ANN LAUGHLIN QUEBEC (CP) What to do with a rich but powerless political party is to be decided here Saturday at a Union Nationale party meeting Delegates to the Union Na- UofS division proposed REGINA (CP) The Saskatchewan government will introduce legislation this session to separate the two campuses of the University of Saskatchewan into autonomous universities, Education Minister Gordon MacMurchy said Wednesday. He said the legislation will also establish a Saskatchewan Universities Commission to oversee campuses in Regina and Saskatoon. Both campuses will be autonomous, with control over their own academic policies, programs, staff, salaries and pensions He said the commission will review budget submissions and allocate funds tionale's national council con- vention are faced with picking up the pieces of the once-pow- erful party of Maurice Dupl- essis which was wiped out of the legislature in the Oct. 29 provincial election. The job has been complicated by what appears to be an internal squabble over power and the party's still-considerable war chest" The backroom arm wrestling delayed the political retirement of leader Gabriel Loubier who said he wanted to prevent "certain persons" from taking over the party for their own ends. However, once he has deliv- ered a brief opening address to the meeting he plans to end his 12-year political career, leaving the choice of his successor and the future of the party in the delegates' hands. The national council, made up of one senior partjr member, a woman member ana a junior member from each of the province's 110 ridings then moves into closed-door session to choose a new executive, select an interim leader, set a date for a leadership convention and dis- cuss what one party source called "big problems." Not the least of these prob- lems is where does the party, founded in 1936, go from here. The party source said that a slate of executive candidates wants a "full housecleaning" of party matters and is pitted against an old-guard executive which they say have the experience but are doing nothing with it. Whatever the Union Nationale decides to do, there is still plenty in the party coffers to do it with. Mr. Loubier says about million is still in the kitty and after election expenses are de- ducted, the amount would be about million. However, the party source said there woule be some questioning on how million of the 5 million the parry received from sale of the daily newspaper Montreal-Matin had been spent since 1973. Mr. Loubier said the amount had been eaten up by the election, debts, publicity, provincial and regional conventions and a staff which once extended to all regional centres POPULATION UP Australia's population stood at last September, up during the previous 12 months. dressed Kurdish people from Baghadad, Kirkuk, Arbil, and other cities held by the Iraqi government are pouring northward in buses, cars, taxis, and on foot and muleback to take refuge here. (The Beirut newspaper An Nahar reported earlier this month that Iraq has mobilized three Army divisions containing troops for a showdown. An Iraqi Army offensive would be launched only after a 15-day ultimatum on the Kurds expired Tuesday, the paper quoted reliable sources in Baghdad as saying.) Gen Mullah Musttafi Barzani and leaders of his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) say the Kurdish autonomy plan proclaimed unilaterally by the Bagddad government March 11 is unacceptable. It probably means, they add, that the Kurds in the north will soon have to fight for their survival, as they did during the years from 1961 until the March, 1970, cease- fire, against the Iraqi armed forces equipped with modern Soviet weapons. Able-bodied men among the newcomers are joining the Pesh Merga. Idriss and Messaoud Barzani, two of General Barzani's sons who share his power in the KDP, are busy with Kurdish military commanders screening the new recruits. The most urgent problem is housing the refugees, many of whom are crammed into tents in the snow. "We have never seen anything like this exodus, even during the Kurdish revolts of 1961, 1965, or said Dr. Mahmoud Osmane, a member of the KDP political bureau Dr. Osmane outlined the main points of disagreement with the government as follows: Baghdad has refused to demarcate the autonomous area on the map. The KDP insist this be done and that the mixed Arab-Kurd city of Kirkuk must be included in the Kurdish area. The heart of Iraq's big oil industry is in Kirkuk Idriss Barzani, in an interview here, charged Baghdad with "forcible Arabization" of Kirkuk and other Kurdish fringe areas by deporting over Kurds in recent years and replacing them with over Arabs. The KDP wants a new census to be held, as agreed by the government in the 1970 cease-fire accord, but it insists that first the government must allow the expelled Kurds to return home and remove the Arabs brought in to replace them. The KDP insists on a temporary joint administration in the mixed towns such as Kirkuk, Sinjar, and Khanaquin on the Iranian frontier. General Barzani's side wants a share of the Iraqi national budget proportional to the population he assigned to the Kurdish area. Baghdad is unwilling to make a firm commitment on this. The Kurds want their own future local assembly to have a real lawmaking power. Baghdad says it must have advisory functions only. The Kurds, who number about 2.5 million of Iraq's over 10 million people, also want the ruling Revolutionary Command Council in Baghdad to share its power and to keep promises for a freely elected national parliament. The Kurdish leadership appears to have little hope for peace with the present Baghdad government of Baath (Arab socialist) Party rulers. "Justice for says Dr. Osmane, "really means democracy in all Iraq, too. The present Baathist regime seems unlikely to grant either." 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