Bafel Jalal Talabani warns reoccurrence of deaths of retirees ‘unacceptable’

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Bafel Jalal Talabani on Tuesday warned the general director of Kurdistan Region’s central bank in Sulaimani that the reoccurrence of deaths of retirees waiting in queues to get paid will be “unacceptable”.

A 81-year-old retired man who waited in a queue to receive his salary for the month of February died outside Tanjaro bank in Sulaimani city on Tuesday, raising the death toll to three.

On March 19, two other retirees who lined up to get paid outside the same bank collapsed and died due to stampede.

Following Tuesday’s incident, Talabani invited Abdulrahman Salih Rashid, general director of Kurdistan Region’s central bank in Sulaimani, to Baghdad, his office said in a statement.

“Retirees are the most respected individuals of this community and they have spent most of their lives in serving Kurdistan and its people. Therefore, they must be treated differently and specially,” Talabani said.

“We don’t accept the reoccurrence of such incidents and it is your duty to do their jobs at the highest level and treat them with the utmost respect and dignity,” he told the director.

“If the government cannot solve this uncivilized phenomenon, it should announce it publicly, because we won’t accept the reoccurrence of this situation not only in Sulaimani but in any other city from now on,” he said.

“Despite delays in payment, retirees should not be treated this way and get paid their financial entitlements in a way that is away from any human value.”

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is behind paying salaries of retirees for the month of February. Despite a rise in oil prices, the KRG blamed Baghdad for the delay in payment. Earlier this month, the federal government decided to send 200 billion dinars as payment for public servants to the Region.

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