As a dispute continues between two rival ethnic and political factions over forming the provincial government in the northern Iraqi province of Ninewa, a report has emerged from a Kurdish-militia controlled town near Mosul that teachers there have been ordered to stop using the Arabic language in their instruction.
A dispute has continued between the predominantly Arab al-Hadba’ list, which won the largest share of the votes in the January 31 provincial elections, and the Kurdish Ninewa Brotherhood List, which has demanded high-level government positions in exchange for ending a boycott of the provincial government.
Meanwhile, in an apparent move to increase the pressure on the newly elected governing bloc, Khasrou Goran, the former vice-governor of the province and head of the Ninewa Branch of the Kurdistan Party has reportedly ordered teachers in the Ba'shiqa area, outside of Mosul, to stop using the Arabic language in their instruction. Ba'shiqa is a majority-Yezidi town under control of the Pesh Merga militia, the paramilitary forces loyal to the main Kurdish parties, al-Iraq News writes in Arabic.
Meanwhile, the al-Hadba’ affiliated governor of the province, Athil al-Najifi, has said his bloc views the dispute with the Brotherhood List as concerning the assertion of provincial government control over all the provincial territory, demanding a Pesh Merga withdrawal from the areas of Ninewa Province that it controls, while the Kurdish Brotherhood List has deflected criticism of Pesh Merga deployment in disputed areas of Ninewa Province and demanded the positions of vice-governor and vice-president of the provincial council to end its boycott of the local government.