Kurdistan Region's Deputy Prime Minister Imad Ahmed and Minister of Interior Karim Sinjari announced the completion of the unification of the two interior ministries in Kurdistan in a press conference in Erbil on Monday, May 14. This means all the ministry's forces will unite to establish one standby force.
During the press conference, Ahmed and Sinjari shed light on the details of the unification.
"The Council of Ministers decided to unify the Ministry of Interior in its April 9 session, and the decree was issued by the council on April 11, stating that the process should be completed in 45 days," Minister Sinjari told reporters. "And today, the unification process is complete and now the Ministry of Interior is one ministry."
"The unification was set to be completed in 45 days, but it was actually completed in a much shorter time: 33 days," said Ahmed at the press conference. "Instead of the three separate forces of protection, police and emergency, we will have one Standby Force belonging to Ministry of Interior. In addition, the Suleimaniya and Erbil Police Academies will be changed, one will become a high school and the one becomes a college."
The deputy prime minister also said the mayors and district directors will be rotated among Erbil, Suleimaniya and Duhok within one month to completely remove any double administration.
"All the uniforms become the same uniform all over the Region."
Ahmed also told media representatives that whoever does not abide by the unification and the new procedures and regulations will be dealt with according to the law.
"Owning weapons should be banned, weapons dealers should be closed down, human rights should be protected and the law should be respected and followed," reiterated the deputy prime minister.
Referring to Erbil's May 8 demonstrations and unrest, Minister Sinjari said "There was chaos in Erbil and the police forces were attacked and 17 members of the police were injured."
"We will deal with this issue according to the law," vowed Minister Sinjari.
The Ministry of Finance, which was also planned to unify during the same period, also made its deadline. The unification of the ministry was announced on May 20.
The only ministry that still needs to be unified is the Ministry of Peshmarga.
When the Council of Ministers decided to unify the ministries in early April, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani was visiting Europe and the United States.
The Council of Ministers announced that this issue would be put on hold until President Barzani returned to Kurdistan because he was involved in some issues of the ministry and the decision required his presence.
Although more than a month has passed since Barzani concluded his tour and returned to Kurdistan, the decision is still pending.