‘Iraq must recognise Shengal’s autonomy if it wants to secure the rights of Yazidis’

Speaking about the Mosul Governor's visit to Shengal and the talks between the Turkish state and the KDP, Riham Hesen stated that the talks are a war plan to be realised on Iraqi territory and called on the Iraqi government to prevent war plans.

After officially taking office, Mosul Governor Abdulkadir Dexîl visited Shengal (Shengal) on 19 February and met with tribal leaders, prominent figures and representatives of service institutions. During these meetings, Dexîl insisted on the implementation of the 9 October Agreement.

The "Shengal Agreement" was signed on 9 October 2020 between the former Iraqi Government headed by Mustafa al-Kadhimi and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The agreement projects the forced dissolution of self-governing structures and the installment of a new administration in Shengal. The Yazidi people never recognized the agreement because it was signed without consulting with them and seeks to return Shengal to its defenseless state before 2014. They reject the agreement since it is against the rights of Yazidis and against all Yazidi forces that oppose genocide. 

The visit came at a time when the Mosul parliament and administration are on the agenda and the political parties have not yet reached a consensus. Shengal also took its share from the negotiations on Mosul administration. However, the Shengal Autonomous Administration insists that they will not accept any decision taken against the will of the people of Shengal.

Riham Hesen, Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Shengal Autonomous Administration, spoke to Rojnews about the visit of the Governor of Mosul to Shengal and the negotiations between the Turkish state and KDP officials.

‘We are against the 9 October agreement’

Remarking that the Iraqi government has promised many times to solve the problems in Shengal, Riham Hesen said, "However, at the same time, some plans were made against the will of the people of Shengal, and these plans do not serve the people of the region. One of these plans is the agreement between the KDP and the al-Kadhimi government on 9 October 2020. This agreement was not approved by the people, but it is still on the government's agenda. The government knows that we, as the Autonomous Administration, together with many political parties in Shengal, are against this agreement."

'Democratic Nation system is the solution to all problems'

Emphasising that the Democratic Nation system is the solution to all problems, Riham Hesen continued: "The people of Shengal have reached the point where they can govern themselves and oppose any plan that does not serve Shengal. Those who truely want to heal the wounds of our people should first return the Yazidi prisoners whose fate is unknown to their homes. If they want to take the views of our people as a basis, they should recognise the Democratic Nation system, in which the people have been self-governing since the 2014 genocide. In all our meetings with Iraq, we have said that the only solution is Democratic Autonomy. We want our basic right, which is also included in the Iraqi Constitution. However, it seems that foreign powers, especially the Turkish state, are pressuring Iraq not to recognise this administration."

'We protected the Iraqi government that failed to protect itself'

Stating that the Iraqi government has no right to make a deal on the will of the people, Riham Hesen said, "When ISIS gangs attacked the region, they were defeated thanks to the resistance of the people of Shengal. The Iraqi government did not protect its territory back then. It is clear that Iraq does not recognise and ignores the resistance of the people. The people of Shengal have been self-governing and defending themselves for 10 years. Iraq has no right to sign an agreement on the will of the people.”

'Iraq should account for the genocide’

Riham Hesen, referring to the Mosul Governor's speech insisting on the 9 October Agreement, said; "He paid a visit for some service projects in Shengal, but putting the 9 October Agreement on the agenda does not serve the people. We rejected this agreement, and we stand by this decision. If Iraq wants to pay its debt after the genocide, it must recognise the autonomy of Shengal. Coordinations representing the people of Shengal have been established. The government can take these coordinations as an interlocutor. Thanks to the existing unity and the patriotism of our people, we will be able to stand against all plans and achieve victory."

'Every meeting is followed by a new attack’

Riham Hesen stated the following about the recent meetings between the Turkish state, the KDP and Iraqi officials; "After the recent talks, the attacks of the Turkish state on Iraqi territory are increasing. These attacks threaten Iraq's sovereignty. It seems that a comprehensive attack plan is being made against Iraqi territory. The Iraqi people and government should take these attack plans seriously."