Proposed independent Kurdish state casts shadow of doubt on Christians' and Yazidis' future

Christians and Yazidis who have been displaced because of the atrocities of the Islamic State reportedly face a bleak future under the proposed independence of the Kurdish region from the central government of Iraq.

(REUTERS / Alaa Al-Marjani)A woman shows her ink-stained finger during Kurds independence referendum in Halabja, Iraq. September 25, 2017.

After the recent Kurdish independence referendum, the area in Iraq where a lot of displaced people fled to has been torn between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish Regional Government. Ivan Abdulla, a Yazidi who purchased a new house in Bashiqa after ISIS overran their hometown last year, now regrets his decision, The Washington Post relayed.

"You can't think long-term in this country," said Abdulla. "Whatever plans you set, something happens. Things get ruined."

Although Bashiqa is legally under the jurisdiction of Iraq, the Kurdish security forces are the ones controlling the area. Kurdish officials consider it as part of their future independent state.

The fate of Bashiqa and the other towns torn between Baghdad and the KRG will affect the future of ethnic and religious minorities in the country who have endured persecution, displacement, and violence. Yazidis claim that Kurdish forces left them to be massacred and ravaged as sexual slaves by ISIS militants. Yazidis and Christians have the most to lose if a conflict erupts between Iraq and the Kurdish region.

Abdulla said their place lacks inner peace. For now, he is hoping that the time when someone comes to their door and tells them to leave will never come.

Meanwhile, Iraqi vice president Osama Al Nujafi said the Kurdish president has consented to freeze acting on the results of the independence referendum if Baghdad guarantees the KRG's rights. His statement comes after his meeting with KRG president Masoud Barzani on Oct. 7, The National reported.

Barzani had asked that Baghdad lift the sanctions on the Kurdish region and to begin the negotiations between the two parties, said Al Nujafi. Ayad Allawi, another Iraqi vice president, was also there during their meeting on Saturday. The three leaders agreed to start the talks between Baghdad and Erbil and to ensure that the two sides meet regularly.