2017年10月01日

クルドの独立の国民投票は裏目に出る危険性がある。 手強い反対の勢力が投票を台無しにするかもしれない。

A Kurdish referendum on independence risks backfiring
Formidable opposing forces may yet scupper the vote
Middle East and Africa
Sep 15th 2017

クルドの独立の国民投票は裏目に出る危険性がある。
手強い反対の勢力が投票を台無しにするかもしれない。

backfiring:裏目に出る
Formidable:手強い
scupper:台無しにする



THE vast oil reserves and disputed status of Kirkuk have given it a reputation as a powder-keg. The multi-ethnic province in northern Iraq lies beyond the Kurdish Autonomous Region but is ruled by the Kurds and claimed by the Arabs in Baghdad. To locals, the ambiguity has had its advantages. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters provided security; Iraq’s government footed the bill (which it refused to the undisputed Kurdish enclave further north). For years Kirkuk’s heterogeneous population has largely left Iraq’s identity wars at the city gates and continued their polyglot ways. Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs happily jumbled their different languages in the cafes. Flush with funds and oil wealth, malls and fancy restaurants sprouted along its roads. The province has a Kurdish governor. Peshmerga fighters, who swept in with the Americans in 2003, have the upper hand, but most of the province’s officials are still Arabs.

powder-keg:火薬だる
ambiguity:曖昧な状況
footed the bill:費用を持つ
undisputed:明白な
heterogeneous:混成の
polyglot:数か国語が使われている
jumbled:ごた混ぜにする
Flush:どっと流れる
sprouted: 突如次々と出現する
upper hand:支配・優位

The tinderbox never really caught fire. But a unilateral referendum the Kurds have called for their independence on September 25th might change that. Rival Kurdish and Arab forces are converging on the province, and its often nonchalant people say they are scared. Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, sounds unrelenting in his determination to hold the referendum, not just in the three provinces of his Kurdish Regional Government but in Kirkuk and vast swathes of other provinces his forces have seized from the jihadists of Islamic State. Iraq’s prime minister, Haider Abadi, has denounced the ballot as unconstitutional and prevailed on parliament to sack Kirkuk’s governor, Najmaldin Karim, for backing the vote. 

tinderbox:(一触即発の)危険な地域[状態]
unilateral:一方的な
nonchalant:無関心な
scared:怯える
unrelenting:断固とした
prevailed:説得する

The province’s status, he says, should be determined by dialogue, not an unauthorised Kurdish ballot. Hundreds of Kurds in senior government posts, including two ministers and several ambassadors, risk losing their job. Parliament is considering a vote of no confidence in Iraq’s president, a Kurd. And Iraq’s army and its allied Shia hashad, or militia, are mobilising. A leader of Badr, the largest and best armed of the militias, vows to prevent any poll and says his forces will march on Kirkuk next week, en route to Hawija, IS’s last holding in central Iraq. The operation, he says, is set to begin on September 23rd, two days before the scheduled referendum. Foreign aid workers in the city are planning to leave town. 

Still at his desk, Kirkuk’s Kurdish governor is defiant. “The same Peshmerga who stopped IS entering the city, will stop the hashad,” insists Mr Karim. He echoes Mr Barzani, who says Kirkuk is Kurdish, and that “the people of Kurdistan are willing to die to defend it.” The two-metre deep trench and four-metre high earth wall which Kurds built with western assistance to block IS from taking the oilfields will serve to keep Shia militiamen at bay, they say, and mark the borders of Kurdistan’s future state. Some Kurds threaten to cut Iraq’s water supply from the dams they control on the Tigris if the fighting begins. 

defiant:挑戦的な
keep Shia militiamen at bay:寄せ付けない

But the opposing force is formidable. After three years as the vanguard fighting IS, Shia paramilitary forces are battle-hardened, well-armed and flush with at least $1bn of Iraqi government finance. By contrast, the Kurdish government lacks the cash to pay its Peshmerga full salaries. Kirkuk is just one of several flashpoints stretching west to Sinjar, and up the Euphrates into Syria, where Arab and Kurdish forces compete to fill the vacuum left by IS. The eruption of one could ignite them all. Regional powerbrokers are pressuring the Kurds. 

vanguard:先頭・先陣
paramilitary:非合法な軍事組織の
battle-hardened:百戦錬磨の
flashpoints:一触即発の場所
eruption:勃発
powerbrokers:影響力の強い国

Hakan Fidan, the Turkish intelligence chief, and Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds force, Iran’s foreign legion, have been touring Kurdistan warning against a vote. Iran briefly dammed a river into Kurdistan over the summer, “for technical reasons”, says the Iranian consul in Kurdistan. But Kurds have been told that their three border crossings with Iran could shut, too, if the referendum goes ahead. 

legion:軍団
dammed:せき止める
consul:執政官

Mr Barzani had hoped his Western allies, who first backed the creation of a Kurdish enclave in 1991, would come to the rescue of land-locked Kurdistan. But the Americans are clear they are giving priority to Iraq’s future over that of the Kurds. They fear the referendum will jeopardise the Kurdish-Arab alliance they have stitched together against IS’s “caliphate”, potentially offering the jihadists a lease of life just as it seemed on the point of collapse. Also visiting Kurdistan, Brett McGurk, the American envoy to the coalition, warned Kurdish politicians not to expect financial, diplomatic or military support if fighting erupted. At a meeting with Mr Barzani on September 14th, a phalanx of Western ambassadors to Iraq nodded at his side. 

land-locked:陸に囲まれた
stitched:統合する
lease of life:new lease of life《a 〜》元気[活気]を取り戻すこと、寿命を延ばすこと
phalanx:集団

Kurds themselves are deeply divided. Mr Barzani has staged sizeable flag-waving rallies on his home turf of Erbil and Dohuk, the two provinces ruled by his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). But elsewhere many fear Mr Barzani is gambling with their enclave. The streets of Kirkuk and Suleimaniyah provinces ruled by Mr Barzani’s old rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are pointedly bereft of campaign posters and bunting. Walking through Sulaimaniyah’s city market, this correspondent could not find a single Kurd planning to vote. After 26 years of self-rule, many doubt their rulers’ ability to run a state. Its military forces are divided between several factions, parliament has been padlocked for two years after it sought to wrest powers from the president, whose 12-year tenure should have expired four years ago. 

sizeable:かなり大きな
flag-waving:⦅非難して⦆(過剰な)愛国心の発露
pointedly:あからさまに・明らかに
bereft:〈大切な物など〉を奪われた, (完全に)失った
bunting:垂れ幕
padlocked:…に南京錠をかける
wrest:〈支配権承諾など〉を力ずくで[無理に]取る

The enclave is over $20bn in debt. Despite seizing Kirkuk’s oilfields and exporting at least 300,000 barrels they produce per day via Turkey, Mr Barzani’s government slashed salaries and is many months in arrears. Civil servants at the Shaab cafe in Sulaimaniyah complained Mr Barzani had called the referendum as a smokescreen to hide his government’s internal woes. Remarkably, in a region still traumatised by Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons, a peddler proudly sold old Iraqi banknotes with the dictator’s face. The rule of Saddam’s family, he said, was better than Mr Barzani’s. Even a student hawking Kurdish flags to fund his studies said the Middle East was better without another failed state. 

arrears:≪…の≫ 支払いが遅れて
woes:苦難
traumatised:心的外傷を受ける
peddler:行商人
hawking:売り歩く

Mr Barzani might blink. He recalled parliament on September 15th after a two-year hiatus. It may yet vote to postpone the referendum, allowing Mr Barzani to blame MPs for the U-turn. But many Kurdish politicians are dismayed by his brinkmanship. Of all the Middle East’s 30m Kurds, Iraq’s 6m enjoy the most rights. Now many fear that the autonomy they have preserved for 26 years is at stake. Some point to a precedent. In 1946, Masoud Barzani’s father, Mustafa, led Kurdish forces in declaring a Kurdish republic in the Iranian town of Mahabad. After losing international support, it collapsed in less than a year. 

blink:たじろぐ
hiatus:中断
dismayed:落胆して・狼狽して
brinkmanship:瀬戸際政策〘危険覚悟であるという態度を見せることで有利に事を運ぼうとすること〙
precedent:先例

クルドの国民投票をしたら、どうなるのか。アメリカを含めて関連諸国は賛成しない。それぞれの利害がある。トルコもイランも反対している。そもそもクルディスタン自治区はキルクークの石油があっても200億ドルの債務がある。健全な状況ではない。バルザニ大統領は支持しているが、1946年に彼の父が同様に独立宣言をイランで行って失敗している。考え直したほうが良い。

日曜日。今日は風邪がまだ完全に良くなっていないので、、母の見舞いは来週にした。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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