'The people of Bashur crossed the borders and joined the Rojava Revolution struggle'

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria Representative Evîn Swed said that the people of South Kurdistan showed great interest in the Rojava Revolution, despite the KDP government’s attitude, and took an active role in it.

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) Evîn Swed said that the Rojava and South Kurdistan governance models are important experiences for the Kurds and added: “These experiences should help each other to fill the gaps. The Kurds are facing annihilation. However, if there is unity against the occupation, the gains of the Kurds will be preserved.”

Swed talked to ANF about the Rojava Revolution on its 10th anniversary, the support of the people of South Kurdistan (kr: Bashur) and the KDP government's approach to the revolution.

‘Bashur people actively participated to the Rojava Revolution’

Evîn Swed underlined that the people of Bashur gave martyrs by actively participating in the Rojava Revolution and added: “Today, the Rojava Revolution is described as a world revolution. The Kurdish people everywhere offered their support. The people of Bashur were also among those who supported Rojava. They supported Rojava in difficult times. Many of them went to Rojava and joined the revolutionary struggle. Many of them fell as martyrs and were injured.”

Swed said that the people of Bashur have shown great interest in the Rojava Revolution since the beginning and added: “They look at the Rojava Revolution experience with great love. They wanted to see and study all the details of this revolution. Many people want to go to Rojava, but it is not possible now. Our representation in Sulaymaniyah receives a lot of applications. The people and the government in Başur did not complement each other in recognizing the Rojava Revolution and the Autonomous Administration.”

'We are ready to protect the revolution'

Evîn Swed said: “Currently, both Rojava and Bashur are facing having attacks and occupation. There are constant debates about protecting the revolution against these threats. As the Autonomous Administration Representation, we continue to work on this issue. When Rojava refers to South Kurdistan as 'brothers', it does not mean the administration, but the entire South Kurdistan people. The Autonomous Administration is open to unity and strengthening its relations in terms of protecting Kurdish gains against occupation. It should open its doors in relevant places for these efforts to get results.”

Two different models for Kurds

Swed also touched on the two administration models in Kurdistan, and said: “There are two administration models in Kurdistan, one being the Rojava Autonomous Administration and the other the Kurdistan Regional Administration. These are two different experiences for the Kurds. All Kurdistan sees the Rojava Revolution as hope. These experiences should help each other to make up for where they are lacking. We may be subject to more attacks. However, if we are united, these attacks will be repelled.”

Evîn Swed underlined that the representative office of the Autonomous Administration in Bashur started its activities in 2015, and added: “The Autonomous Administration opened its first representative office in Sulaymaniyah, South Kurdistan. The mission and purpose of the representation was to promote the Rojava Revolution in the region and to establish bilateral relations. Of course, it is a great source of happiness to open our first representative office in a city in Kurdistan to promote the Rojava Revolution. This has an important meaning for Rojava.”

Evîn also mentioned that there is no representation in other cities such as Hewlêr and continued: “The perspective of the South Kurdistan Government towards the Rojava Revolution is not the same as the people. For example, we wanted to open a representative office in the whole region, but we could not. The South Kurdistan Parliament allowed the opening of this representation. We wanted our official representation to be in Hewlêr, which is considered the capital of the region. However, we haven't been able to open it yet. Of course, this requires dialogue and strong work.”

Detention of representatives and attacks against activists

Evîn Swed also referred to the abduction of the Autonomous Administration representatives by KDP forces in 2021, “Last year, our official representatives were kidnapped in Hewlêr and were held captive for a long time. After that, our friends were deported. Here is their approach.”

Swed also spoke about the brutal attack against AANES official Ferhat Şibli and said: “When our friend Ferhat Şibli was targeted and brutally murdered in Kelar, the target was the Rojava Revolution. It was a message to the Autonomous Administration. The attitude of the Bashur government towards the attack was very mild. These approaches raise doubts. The Iraqi and regional government should initiate an investigation for the murderer and share the results with the peoples of Rojava as well as its own people.”