Shengal Autonomous Administration: KDP aims to build a base here

The Democratic Autonomous Administration of Shengal criticised the KDP’s attempt to deploy forces to Shengal on pretext of elections, saying, “Their arrival has nothing to do with elections, they want to build a base here.”

In a press briefing on Sunday, the Democratic Autonomous Administration of Shengal criticised the KDP’s attempt to enter Shengal with armed forces on October 2. The event in Sinun was attended by officials of the Autonomous Administration and members of the Shengal Tribal Leaders Association.

The armed forces of the KDP, accompanied by the two candidates determined by the KDP for elections, had to retreat in the face of the people’s reactions and protests.

Shengal Autonomous Administration Co-Chair Merwan Bedel pointed to the agreement concluded between Baghdad and Hewler (Erbil) on 9 October 2020, and the developments that followed.

Bedel remarked that KDP’s efforts to get stationed in Shengal since have increased but failed. He said the latest attempt to enter Shengal was made on grounds of the parliamentary elections to be held in Iraq this month.

Merwan Bedel said, “The elections and propaganda campaign are on Shengal’s agenda. No single party running an electoral campaign in Shengal has never faced any obstacles so far. Yesterday, October 2nd, members of the KDP’s 17th office, led by Aştî Koçer, were meant to return to Shengal as part of the agreement made against the will of Shengal.”

Bedel said they would oppose this policy against the Yazidi community. He noted that they had talked with KDP officials before yesterday’s incident and warned them not to come to Shengal.

Ignoring these warnings, the KDP seeks to use Shengal on the pretext of elections and to use the shrines of Yazidis as bases of the party, Bedel said. He recalled that senior religious figures of the Yazidi community had previously been prevented by the KDP while on their way to the Şerfedîn shrine.

“Those in charge of the 17th office want to use the shrine as a base. We did not accept this,” he added.

Pointing to the agreement between the KDP and Iraq, Bedel continued, “We told Iraq that we would not accept this but Iraqi officials considered the KDP forces’ arrival in Shengal to be legitimate within the scope of electoral propaganda. Now they say that we don’t allow their candidates to do propaganda in Shengal. If the electoral campaign was run democratically everywhere, it would be seen that nobody promotes democracy as much as we do. Now that they do not allow our Yazidi parties to conduct work here, we are not allowing them either. However, their arrival has nothing to do with elections. They want to establish a base here. They are preparing to deploy a large peshmerga force to Shengal.”