The regional authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan organised a new referendum of independence on the 25th of September 2017 within a critical context and a painful past : Iraq is barely recovering from a deadly conflict against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), refugee camps in Kurdistan Region as the UNHCR camps of Akre or Debaga are still filled with thousands of internally displaced people and many Syrians fleeing the civil war, the genocide of the Yazidis just happened and is unsolved with thousands of its members – mostly young women – still missing and being sold within an ongoing human trafficking network. Furthermore, a long history of regional wars and conflicts continues to have implications for the destinies of the Kurdish populations in Iran (Rojhelat), Syria (Rojava) and Turkey (Bakur). Challenging this precarious context, the referendum rekindled tensions throughout the region at a time when 92% of Kurds voted yes to independence, hoping for peace in a land they could call home.

Fixer: Rasan Hasan