Protest in Shengal against agreement between Baghdad and Hewlêr

In Shengal there was a protest against the agreement on the future of the Yazidi settlement area concluded between the governments of Iraq and the autonomous region of Southern Kurdistan.

On Sunday, a demonstration took place in Shengal (Sinjar) against the agreement on the future of the Yazidi settlement area concluded between the governments of Iraq and the South Kurdistan Autonomous Region. In addition to Yazidis, Sunni, Shiite and Arab inhabitants of the region as well as religious leaders, politicians and representatives of the civil society took part in the protest.

Little information is known about the agreement concluded on Friday between Baghdad and Hewlêr (Erbil). According to media reports, the agreement addresses administrative and security policy issues as well as the provision of state infrastructure. According to Baghdad, Hewlêr is now responsible for the administration of the region, and the security is the responsibility of the Iraqi central government. While various combat units are set to be disbanded, what this means concretely for the Shengal Defense Units (YBŞ) is still unclear. 

The Democratic Autonomous Council of Shengal also has no information about the content of the agreement, because the institution was not involved in either the preliminary talks or the agreement itself. The inhabitants of the region were not included in the decision-making process either. Yazidi organizations are outraged because the agreement appears to be in line with the geostrategic objectives of the Turkish Erdogan government.

“The agreement is illegitimate”

Exactly this was underlined again during the demonstration in Shengal. In a speech, activist Ziman Rihan Hesen stressed that the communities in Shengal are not willing to accept decisions and agreements of forces that have lost their legitimacy due to their contribution to the genocide in August 2014. "In our eyes this agreement is illegitimate. All of us here reaffirm our willingness to contribute to the return of all displaced or fugitive Yazidis as well as the reconstruction of our region and the solution of all problems. This has been our will from the beginning."

“We do not accept this agreement”

Forces that escaped the ISIS raid on Shengal by fleeing are not authorized to make decisions about the future of the region, Hesen stressed and added: "We do not accept this agreement. We demand that the peoples of Shengal be involved in all decisions affecting the administration of the region. We also demand the creation of a committee composed of all the components of Shengal and to participate in the negotiations."