Yezidi organizations condemn PKK decision to forcibly close gov't, private offices in Sinjar

The disputed northern Iraqi city of Sinjar (Shingal). (Photo: Archive)
The disputed northern Iraqi city of Sinjar (Shingal). (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An umbrella organization of activists and groups that works to support the Yezidi (Ezidi) religious minority in northern Syria on Sunday condemned the recent forced closure of public and private offices in the disputed Iraqi district of Sinjar (Shingal) by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We categorically reject these unacceptable negative measures and behaviors that do not serve the region, which were issued by an illegal political party that does not have the authority in such situations," read a statement issued by Yezidi House.

The press release came just hours after an Iraqi soldier was injured when clashes broke out, according to a military press office, "as the Iraqi army was securing the protection of demonstrators condemning the Turkish aggression on Iraqi territory."

Read More: Iraqi soldier wounded in attack at anti-Turkish demonstration in disputed Sinjar

Prior to that, the PKK-backed Self-Administration and Democracy Council in Sinjar, issued the decision to close the offices indefinitely in protest of the Turkish actions. 

Read More: PKK shuts down government offices in Iraqi's disputed Sinjar 

The PKK, headquartered in the mountains of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, has been fighting a decades-long insurgency against Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey.

"We in the Yezidi House" continued the statement, "represents the mass and popular base of the Yezidi community. We stand with the law and with the state's general system in order to maintain security, stability, and peace."

The statement bore the signature of Qolo Afdo Suleiman, the group's leader, who concluded the message with, "Long live Iraq as a land and people. Long live the heroic Iraqi security forces. Long live the true, holy Yezidi nationalism."

On Thursday, a Kurdistan Region official stressed “the need to overcome political and administrative obstacles that prevent justice for the victims' families, and accelerate the formation of the administration in Sinjar, enhancing security and stability and providing material aid and basic services for their return from displacement camps to their indigenous homeland.”

These were precisely the goals when the federal government in Baghdad and the KRG signed the Sinjar Agreement in Oct. 2020.

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

Over a year later, the agreement remains unimplemented, most seriously regarding its security provisions since multiple armed militias continue to operate there, making further meaningful progress almost impossible.