Iraqi officials, UN envoy in Erbil to finalize plan for Sinjar agreement

High-level Kurdistan Region officials received their federal Iraqi counterparts and the top United Nations envoy to Iraq in Erbil on Tuesday as part of efforts to finalize the implementation of a recent joint security agreement between the two in the embattled district of Sinjar (Shingal).
author_image Hiwa Shilani

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – High-level Kurdistan Region officials received their federal Iraqi counterparts and the top United Nations envoy to Iraq in Erbil on Tuesday as part of efforts to finalize the implementation of a recent joint security agreement between the two in the embattled district of Sinjar (Shingal).

The agreement involves understandings on security, civil administration, reconstruction, and service rehabilitation in the Yezidi(Ezidi)-majority district, as well as the return of those displaced after the area was overtaken by the Islamic State in 2014.

Iraq's National Security Adviser Qasim al-Araji and the UN’s Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert arrived earlier in the day for the meeting, hosted by regional Minister of Interior Reber Ahmed. 

In a joint press conference that followed the meeting, Ahmed and Araji stated that both sides “agree and are determined to implement the terms of the Shingal agreement," indicating that a timetable had been set for both security and administrative aspects of the plan, as well as the reconstruction of the area.

Read More: KRG and Baghdad reach administrative, security agreement on Sinjar

"We have agreed to appoint a new mayor whose name will be officially announced at a later time," Reber said, explaining, "No person other than the people of Shingal can run the district.”

"We have agreed that the administration and security of the district will be entrusted to its original people," he added, "and any person who has come to the district from elsewhere will return to where he came from and will have no place in it in the future." 

For his part, Araji said that as an affirmation of the positive relationship between Erbil and Baghdad and the strengthening of mutual trust, these meetings will continue to resolve the differences and outstanding issues between the two sides, stressing that there is enough goodwill to resolve existing differences.

Araji also stressed that any force that is not part of the officially-sanctioned security plan, a clear reference to militias now operating in the area, will not have a place in Shingal.

Editing by John J. Catherine