Kurdistan faces rising drug trade and abuse, warns premier

Kurdistan faces rising drug trade and abuse, warns premier

Shafaq News/ During a conference on "Combatting Drugs and Psychotropic Substances," Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday said that the rates of drug trade and abuse are on the rise in the region.

Prime Minister Barzani, addressing the gathering, stated, "per available data, drug trade and abuse are increasing in the Kurdistan region. This is an alarming issue that threatens our society."

The prime minister said that the regional government is actively working to combat this serious threat and is making efforts to reduce the expansion and spread of drugs. He noted, "In this context, in 2020, Law No. 1 for the Combat of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in the region was approved."

Prime Minister Barzani added that the issue of drugs and its combat have become global concerns, affecting many societies. "Unfortunately, Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are not exempt from this threat and danger."

He stressed that drugs do not only harm the health of users but also extend their negative impact to society, the economy, security, finances, and disrupt the social fabric. "Drugs are a primary factor in undermining human resources."

Prime Minister Barzani remarked, "The Kurdistan Region faces various forms of hostilities, and efforts are made to undermine it. Among the most dangerous forms is drug trafficking. These are declared weapons used to break our community bonds and damage the potential and health of our youth. We must combat drugs with the utmost determination because their risks and threats are no less than terrorism."

He pointed out that criminal cartels and drug traffickers have included the Kurdistan region as part of their nefarious plans and aim to exploit the region's geographical location as a gateway for smuggling drugs to other locations. This has led to an increase in the number of addicts in the region.

Prime Minister Barzani called on the relevant authorities in the region to continue fulfilling their sacred duty and confront drug traffickers with strength. He emphasized that they should not allow the success of their schemes and intentions.

Barzani lamented that due to security gaps in the disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad, covered by Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, as well as in border areas with neighboring countries, armed groups hinder security forces under the Kurdistan Regional Government from combatting drug dealers. He also accused some of these groups of being a part of the drug trade.

Prime Minister Barzani urged for intensified efforts in the fight against drug trade and emphasized the importance of combatting this growing issue to protect the region's future and well-being.

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