Shingalis return from Baghdad empty-handed

Shingal (Sinjar), May 2022: A group of Yazidi youth gathered in the center of Shingal and demanded the implementation of their demands for security and stability. KirkukNow

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

A number of young people in Shingal returned to Shingal following meetings in Baghdad and returned to the district without any practical results, after nearly 40 days of protests.

Few days ago, 19 people representing the protesting youth of Shingal visited Baghdad to convey a number of demands, including an end to the military conflict and the formation of a new administration for the district.

Saeed Dakhil, a member of the Shingal youth delegation to Baghdad, told KirkukNow that the main purpose of the visit was to convey the demands of their protests about the situation in the district, but in return, they have received some promises without any concrete actions on the ground.

The fighting between the Iraqi army and the Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) in May killed left casualties from both sides and over 800 families were displaced.

"They have promised the Iraqi army is not going to fight again except if they are attacked to defend themselves," Dakhil said. "We need security assurances so that people do not displace again and a new administration for Shingal soon to be formed."

A group of Ezidi youths in the district of Shingal, home to the Ezidi community in Ninewa province, have been demonstrating since last May, demanding the implementation of four main demands related to the deadlock in the district.

The four demands are: putting an end to armed clashes, the withdrawal of all armed groups from the entire district except for the local police, the establishment of a new, independent administration, and a concrete promise to implement their demands.

The group, which has more than 50 members, meets every day from 5 to 6 pm in the center of Shingal and Sinuny subdistrict to express their protests in various ways to resolve the situation in their war-torn region.

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Baghdad, June 2022: Shingal youth meet with the prime minister's advisor. Media Office of the Prime Minister

Shingal, west of Mosul, after the expulsion of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, is going through an unstable security situation and direct confrontations between different armed groups in the region, each trying to impose its domination over the district.

"The Iraqi prime minister cannot make any decision on Shingal because he does not want to make a decision that will fall at the expense of any party and is trying to maintain the balance between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region," Majid Shingali, a member of the Iraqi parliament, told Kirkuk Now.

"He cannot take (further) steps to implement the Shingal agreement."

The Shingal agreement signed between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in October 2020, calls for the formation of a new administration for the district, reconstruction and reorganization of the security situation, so that forces close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK, which is fighting Turkey since 1980s and holding territories in Iraq including Shingal, leave the war-torn region.

"I think the kind of meetings of the delegations going to Baghdad will not lead to any results and the situation will remain the same until the formation of the new government in Shingal," Shingali believes.

The caretaker Iraqi government led by Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is still in power months following October General Elections, awaiting the formation of the new government which is heading toward a deadlock due to disagreements between the parliamentary factions.

The youths of Shingal have returned home after a meeting with the prime minister's advisor, but they have not given up yet.

“We will hold a series of meetings to let everyone know how the situation is in Shingal,” said Saeed Shamo, a member of the Independent Youth Group of Shingal.

At the early hours of May 2nd, troops of the Iraqi army with heavy weapons supported by warplanes attacked two points of pro-PKK Ezidkhan Asayish (Security), part of Yabasha or YBS, in Sinuny. Two were killed and 12 were injured from both sides, sources affirmed to KirkukNow.

On the 18th and 19th of April, armed clashes erupted after an army force asked Ezidkhan Asayish members to evacuate a military post near Sinuny. A fighter of YBS was killed and three injured, in addition to the injury of 21 soldiers of the army Iraqi army and three civilians.

At present, the Iraqi government considers the implementation of the terms of the 2020 Shingal agreement concluded between the unilateral government and the Kurdistan Regional Government the only way to resolve the Shingal issue, yet the agreement has not been implemented so far in light of the presence of Eight different armed forces.

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