'Rojava' no longer exists, 'Northern Syria' adopted instead

Syrian Kurdish parties and their multi-ethnic and religious allies agreed on a draft constitution for a system of federal government in northern Syria

RMELAN, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) - Syrian Kurdish parties and their multi-ethnic and religious allies announced on Wednesday the completion of the draft constitution for a system of federal government in northern Syria.

The groups of the three Kurdish-controlled regions held a conference in Syria's Kurdish-held northeastern town of Rmeilan and agreed on dropping the word 'Rojava' (the Kurdish word for West, indicating Western Kurdistan) from the name of the proposed federal system of government that was adopted in March 2016.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Luqman Ehme, a member of Northern Syria Federal System Organizing Council said the groups discussed the draft of the blueprint and changing the name was one of the agreed decisions.

"The title Democratic Federal System for Rojava-Northern Syria was changed into Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria after long discussions among the groups of northern Syria, though many parties rejected this change," he said.

On the reason of removing the word Rojava, Ehme said Rojava's plan is to join the mainly Arab provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zur in northern Syria.

"Although I rejected changing the name, but the overwhelming majority voted on removing the Kurdish word from the name, as the project in northern Syria is based on equality for all ethnic and religious factions," Ehme said.

Removing the word 'Rojava' from Syria's mainly Kurdish region stirred a wave of anger among various Kurdish groups in diaspora.

"The Kurdish culture was banned in Syria over the past five decades under the rule of Assad, and if Kurds' rights will be ignored after four years of defending Rojava, it means we have lost our time and blood," said Jiwan, a Syrian Kurdish security element in Qamishlo.

Syria's Kurdish National Council (ENKS), an umbrella body of Syrian Kurdish parties based in Erbil, was not included in the council that worked on the constitution draft of the federal system of northern Syria.

The exclusion of ENKS was due to the political rifts with TEV-DEM, Rojava's ruling PYD-led council.    

On March 17, Syria’s Kurdish-controlled northern regions voted to declare a federal system in a Kurdish-led conference in the town of Rmeilan.

A council of 31 members was named and tasked with laying the groundwork, within six months, for the federal region called the “social contract.”

The social contract was approved on Wednesday at a meeting of a 151-member council in Rmeilan.


Editing by Ava Homa