KRG Washington DC office ‘riddled with cronyism and incompetence’

By Artin Ibrahim:

Washington DC

Washington DC

Sadly, in these critical times, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Representation at Washington DC stands accused of being riddled with cronyism, nepotism, incompetence and wastage of public funds. The office has remained without a representative for more than two years due to the rivalry between the two dominant Kurdish parties – the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

According to sources close to the office, the staff do not work regularly and there is a significant backlog of files of applications by Kurdish residents in the US. One man, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, claimed that his application for a “power of attorney” had been sitting in the office for more than 20 days. The applicant claimed to have contacted a director at the office several times, but got no response. Asked why he does not want his name revealed, my source said, “If they (the KRG office) hear that I have complained, they would never do anything for me”.

The man, who has been living in the US since 1996, blamed staff incompetence as a main reason for the backlog. “For example, (one senior representative) does not even speak English properly and can’t write professionally.” My source claimed that this representative was appointed because he is a PUK loyalist. “I heard he has not even finished art school when he was in Kurdistan and before he came here he worked in a mechanic shop for several years and suddenly he was given a job as a diplomat due to his close tie with the PUK only,” he claimed.

Although it has had no representative for the last two years, the KRG office has sought to recruit for two other positions that have been vacant for months. However, sources in Washington DC said that these job announcements were just a fraud to deceive people and for face-saving, because it has already been decided who to appoint to the positions.

“One of the main issues in the office is, the people who are working there feel very insecure about their jobs. They do everything to ensure that competent people would not get any position in the office as they consider him-her as a threat to themselves.”

According to unconfirmed reports, the KRG spends over $1m annually in the office and hopes to develop it into a bigger lobbying power for the Kurds. The current KRG deputy prime minister, Qubad Talabani, ran the KRG-DC office from 2005 to 2012. Talabani was surrounded by an army of cronies appointed by the KDP and the PUK.

“They have brought in a young American to be the Director of Public Relations who neither speaks Kurdish nor is aware of Kurdish politics. His background is in physics. He was employed there because he would not pose a threat to the incompetent employees,” said the source. “He did an internship in the office and they employed him, while tens of Kurds applied for the job across America and abroad, some of them with PhDs, but they were never even considered,” he added.

The KRG-DC office has five staff members – three Kurds and two Americans currently. KDP-PUK rivalries continue to prevent the office from having a top diplomat to represent the KRG.

Artin Ibrahim is a Kurdish American, with a degree in journalism, based in Nashville.

One Response to KRG Washington DC office ‘riddled with cronyism and incompetence’
  1. Mahabad
    August 24, 2014 | 17:26

    This article is accurate but too guarded. The incompetence of current staff is embarrassing. Boils down to the two parties wanting their own horse running the show. They don’t care if it continues to run in neutral. They don’t care if Americans see our “embassy” as nothing more than a fancy address on 16th Street. When people like XXXXXX collect a paycheck for employment there, you’re an utter joke. Barely literate, KDP goon. C’mon KRG, get with it. We have hundreds of educated Kurds with no party affiliation that can act as an effective lobby for all parts of Kurdistan.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL