Yazidis: “We Want Peace not War”
March 5, 2017 at 11:12 pm
Kurdistan Region. 2014. A Yazidi (Ezidi) family become displaced after the attack of ISIS. Photo: AFP
The Yazidi (Ezidi) community says they are mostly concerned about the conflict between the KDP and the PKK-related forces. While they wait to return to their homes, they are afraid that the conflict between the Kurdish parties will make the situation worse.
These concerns come after the clashes between Rojava Peshmerga, close to Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sinjar Communities Units (KCK), a Yazidi armed group alleged to be close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and there were casualties from both sides.
The clashes started at 7 o’clock local time on Friday morning (March 03, 2017), and it took place in Snuny sub-district in Sinjar region, north of Iraq.
Dr. Dakhil Saeed, a Yazidi (Ezidi) figure says that they are tired of the war, “Some people who had been displaced because of war have returned. Another fighting will force the Yazidis (Ezidis) leave home again, and it will destroy the land of the Yazidis (Ezidis).”
The Yazidis (Ezidis) do not hide their fears, and they are afraid that their people will be divided into two because of the conflicts and tensions between the two sides.
“The war that happened, will have effect on the Yazidis (Ezidis), and it will divide them,” Dakhil said.
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who have control over the war and peace resolutions in Sinjar, have deep political tension between them. Since the Islamic State (ISIS) took control of the town in 2014, the KDP and the PKK have their own armed forces in Sinjar.
The PKK is accusing the KDP for leaving the town without any military resistance and neglecting the Yazidis (Ezidis), and dozens of the Yazidis (Ezidis) were displaced and thousands of them were killed because of that. The KDP accuses the PKK of restraining the return of the Yazidis (Ezidis).
Edo Baba Shekh, former adviser of the Iraqi president and a Yezidi (Ezidi) figure told KirkukNow that, “Our people have been the victim of the tensions between the parties since ancient times, and regional tensions will add now!” He believes that last Friday’s clashes are part of a bigger confrontation.
Baba Shekh said, “War is not the solution, and the Yazidis (Ezidis) will pay for the consequences. We want the Yazidis (Ezidis) to govern Sinjar by themselves”.
Baba Shekh blamed the Kurdistan Regional Government for being “Careless”.
Edo Baba Shekh said, “Those who started the fighting in Sinjar should have worked for its reconstruction instead of fighting.”
The conflict between the PKK and the KDP come at a time the Islamic State (ISIS) is only 10 km away from the center of the town.
“Sinjar needs international assistance for its reconstruction not confrontation,” Edo Baba Shekh said.
Hassam Abdulla, a Yazidi (Ezidi) activist in Yazidi (Ezidi) Documentation Organization told KirkukNow, “There are different political parties in the region, they do not understand each other and they are not unified, and the Yazidis (Ezidis) have fallen into that problem.”
The Yazidi (Ezidi) community alongside with Christians, Kakais, and Turkmen has faced the most violence and mistreatment from the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS). They have also faced mass killings; up to 400.000 of them have been displaced.
According to a report by the Iraqi Minority Net Alliance, the Islamic state (ISIS) abducted 6.255 Yazidis (Ezidis), and 59% of them have not been released yet, up to 1.940 of the detainees are women.
The Yazidis (Ezidis) say they demand political reforms for their town.
After meetings between the Peshmerga forces, the KDP, and the PKK forces in Snuny sub-district, a truce was temporarily reached, however each side wants the other to withdraw.
Hassam Abdulla said, “Temporary ceasefire does not solve the problem. These conflicts have a regional dimension, and this fighting is a factional one, and the regional (forces) will benefit from it.”
“The number one victim is the Yazidis (Ezidis) because whenever two partys face each other, they misuse the Yazidis (Ezidis). A number of the commanders of the forces from rival groups are Yazidis (Ezidis) and it has effect on the division of the Yazidis (Ezidis),” Hassam said.
Meanwhile, Yazidis (Ezidis) can play a role in ensuring truce. On the other hand, Baba Shekh said that, “”The forces that entered Sinjar and wanted to remove the KCK are from Rojava (Syria, Kurdistan). There are other foreign groups in Kurdistan, why they are not demanded to withdraw.”
Dr. Dakhil said that the solution is to protect the Yazidis (Ezidi) in their own regions. Dakhil said he urged Erbil and Baghdad governments to support the autonomy of the Yazidis (Ezidis).