Yazda: Statement on the reinstatement of the local administration in Sinjar District

Sinjar, November 1, 2018 |  Yazda expresses its concerns on the reinstatement of the pre- 2014 local administration of Sinjar district in what appears to be a political compromise between the Iraqi Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). 

Following the decision to reinstate the local administration in Sinjar, local administration officials, accompanied by Governor of Nineveh, arrived in Sinjar in a militarized convoy. Their convoy was met by a sizable rally of demonstrators, which prevented officials from entering city of Sinjar.

In this regard, Yazda wishes to state the following:

- Yazda opposes the reinstatement of the local government without substantial structural reforms, including changes to personnel. The officials currently holding positions were not elected by the people of Sinjar and consequently hold no democratic mandate. They are political appointees who, in our considered view, failed in their responsibilities to the people of Sinjar following Daesh’s attack on the region in August 2014, including the period after which Daesh was ousted.

- Yazda opposes any Baghdad-Erbil political or security settlements or agreements relating to Sinjar and other areas in which Yazidis are reside, where such settlements or agreements have been reached without consultation with and the involvement of the Yazidi community. The abject past failures of those who seek to govern to listen to the legitimate concerns of the Yazidi people have helped to usher in catastrophic consequences. This includes undermining governance bodies and security forces’ ability to protect Yazidis and other religious minorities, all equal citizens of Iraq, from harm - and in some cases, from annihilative violence. It is of the utmost importance that Yazidis and other religious minorities in the disputed areas regain confidence in the Iraqi Central Government and the KRG. The top-down approach, characterised by failure to value the voices of those who the local administration seeks to govern, undermines all efforts to rebuild trust with marginalized communities. 

- Yazda encourages undertaking a valid transparent process that leads to appointment of a non-partisan, technocratic, and pro-active mayor until the new provisional elections are held next year.

- Yazda calls on all parties to promote sustainable peace and stability in the territories of Yazidis, Christians and other religious minorities in Nineveh through active engagement with these communities.

Point of Contact: 

Saad Babir, Director of Media and Relations (media@yazda.org)