Wages of 2,000 Ezidi Peshmarga unpaid for three months

Peshmarga forces of Shingal in town after ousting ISIS end of 2015. Photo by KirkukNow

KirkukNow- Nineveh

Peshmarga forces of Shingal have not been paid three months and the ministry of Peshmarga denied any prior knowledge about the issue.

KirkukNow has come to know that these troops tasked to protect Shingal have not been paid their monthly salaries for the last three successive months without any prior notice while in the past they were paid USD200 every 40 days.

""We have not been paid our salaries for three months without any reason," Sahab Ahmed, a Peshmarga fighter of Shingal troops said.

Leader of these troops has resigned in November 2020. Qasim Shasho, an Ezidi, Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP's senior Ezidi Peshmarga, quit for not being involved in nomination and appointment of Ezidi spiritual leader, Baba Sheikh and Meer of the Ezidis.

Shamo Eido, a commander of Shingal Peshmarga, said the commander quit but they are still on duty. "We are committed to our duty and no changes occurred after Shasho quit but so far no salary and no budget received."

"We don't know what the reason is but for sure we will defend Shingal as Peshmargas," he added.

"We don't know what the reason is but for sure we will defend Shingal as Peshmargas," he added.

These troops came to duty upon orders of Masoud Barzani, former president of Kurdistan region and KDP. In the beginning they were paid $300 per month later cut to $200. Peshmarga is the word refers to Kurdish fighters, an acronym for soldiers, organized under KRG ministry of Peshmarga. Some other units are affiliated to political parties.

Beside the Kurdish troops, Iraqi security forces and other pro-Shiite and Pro-PKK troops have bases in the region.

Shrine of Sheikh Sharafaddin, a wholly temple of Ezidis in Shingal Photo exclusively for KirkukNow

Part of Shingal unit is based at Sheikh Sharafaddin wholly shrine of Ezidisin Shingal and the rest in the Ezidi town of Sihela.

The Ezidi community was forced to establish their own militias as they were deserted by Kurdish troops when Islamic State militants ISIS controlled one third of Iraq in 2014. Is militants has taken 6417 into slavery till 2015 yet half of them have been freed up today. About 2,500 buried in 80 mass graves and individual graves only one fourth have been exhumed.

Delay and non-payment of wages is due to the fluctuating economy of KRG as a result of diminishing oil prices under the pandemic fueling the standing dispute over oil exports with Baghdad and limiting revenues.

Kurdistan regional government's KRG ministry of Peshmarga denied concrete knowledge about the issue unless it is related to disciplinary issues.

"May be it is due to disregard of ministry request for participation in training."

Jabar yawar, secretary general of the ministry said he is not fully aware of the problem. "May be it is due to disregard of ministry request for participation in training."

The ministry has periodical training in rotation for all of its units. "Any Peshmarga in any region under any brigade ordered to join training but do not attend, their salaries and cut or dismissed," he added.

Yawar said that ministry doors are always open for the Peshmarga to meet and closely discuss the issue to solve it.

"We will conduct a follow up to see if it is related to training, if not then there is space for meeting and discussion to sort it out."

Over 300 Peshmarga in Shingal were dismissed in June 2020 for dereliction of duty and noncommitment under Covid-19 curfew.

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