Hisên: "We are ready to solve the problems through dialogue"

The deputy co-chairman of the autonomous administration of the Shengal region in Southern Kurdistan, Azad Hisên, calls on Iraq and South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP to hold talks instead of causing chaos in the region.

The Iraqi government and South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP are trying to annex the self-governing Shengal region into their domain. However, both forces are considered to be mainly responsible for the ISIS genocide in 2014 due to their hasty military withdrawal. Azad Hisên, deputy co-chair of the autonomous administration of Shengal, talked to ANF about the Iraqi presence in the Shengal region and the politics of the KDP.

Hisên also pointed to the responsibility of the Iraqi military for the attacks on Shengal and stated: "The Iraqi army is setting up military posts in areas between the villages of Shengal and along the thoroughfares. Supposedly they want to protect the area. But in Shengal itself there is a peaceful climate anyway. However, when the Turkish government attacks here, the Iraqi army is also there. So the Iraqi army is partly responsible for the attacks. Because 24-hour reconnaissance planes are circling over the region."

"We can take care of our own security"

Reporting massive military movements in Xanesor and Sinunê, Hisên stated, "We are not against the Iraqi government being in Shengal, but we are against such a massive military presence in the villages, towns, markets and squares of Shengal. There are already the police and the Asayîş of Êzdîxan. These forces can provide security in the city centre." Hisên called for the withdrawal of the Iraqi military from the region.

"They are responsible for the ISIS genocide"

Hisên stressed that the population in particular is worried by this situation and said: "People do not accept that the Iraqi army is present here in this way. This situation will create more problems than it will solve. Still not all the hostages have been freed from the hands of ISIS. Still all  the bones have not been recovered from the mass graves. These forces that want to take hold in Shengal are responsible for the genocide. They are responsible for the massacre in Shengal but still have not apologised to the people."

"Dialogue instead of chaos"

"The Iraqi military must stop creating more and more problems," said Hisên and continued: "The Iraqi army banned the erection of a statue of Zerdeşt Shengalî, who defended the people and territory of Shengal against the massacres of ISIS. However, Zerdeşt Shengalî did not only fight in Iraq, but also in Syria from Tabqa to Raqqa and al-Bagouz. It is a crime to remove the statue of a commander like Zerdeşt Shengalî. They do not accept the will of the people. Nevertheless, we are ready to meet with them and solve the problems through dialogue. We will do everything to maintain peace in the region. We have to come together on this basis. We are not against Iraq, we are not against the Iraqi government, we are not against the law of Iraq. We are against this army that is carrying out provocations here. This is how some people want to create chaos."

"Iraq is partly responsible for the Turkish attacks"

Regarding the Turkish attacks on Shengal, Hisên said: "The Turkish state is bombing Shengal almost every day, but the Iraqi army has never given any explanation or responded to it. The alleged reasons for the attacks on Shengal are not correct, because the PKK has officially left Shengal. Zerdeşt Shengalî, Pîr Hemîd and many others who fell are children of this region and Yazidis. Therefore, the Iraqi government is responsible for these attacks, it must not remain silent. These attacks also violate the sovereignty of the Iraqi state. If this continues, Iraq will not be able to continue and gain control.”

"The people of South Kurdistan must not remain silent"

Azad Hisên criticised the KDP, which is allied with Turkey, for using the chaos in the region to strengthen its own position and remarked that it considers anyone who is not under its control as an enemy. He appealed to the people of South Kurdistan: "Our people, especially those in the camps, should be aware that this is the biggest betrayal. The people of South Kurdistan should not remain silent and they should stand against these practices. Our people must return to their country and rebuild Shengal."