Sinuny national card office shut for four months

The main street at the center of Sinuny sub-district of Shingal (Sinjar) district, Nineveh, 2022. Layth Gruzeri

By KirkukNow

The office in charge of registration and issuance of national identity card in Sinuny sub-district of Shingal, Ninewa province, has been closed for four months and no date is set for its opening.

According to KirkukNow, when the Sunni National Card Office was closed in Shingal district, several different excuses were given to the local officials and promised to open it again, without specifying any date.

“When the office opened, we said we were saved and could process national cards in our own city, but like everything else, it failed and was closed,” said Saeed Khalaf, 35, a resident of Sinuny.

"I don't understand why there is so much hostility against Shingal," he added.

Iraq was using a dual system of personal status identity and Iraqi nationality. In 2016, the authorities have decided to update the system into one national identity card. A data base has been developed to digitalize paper registration books.

Iraqis have to set a date for interview, then submit all official documents in order to be registered and get a national ID. The process takes at least an hour while in some centers people wait for days and even months.

I don't understand why there is so hostility against Shingal

The estimated population of Sinuny is about 170,000 people and according to official statistics, the district administration told KirkukNow, the largest district in terms of population and now about 100,000 people have returned.

"The national card office has been closed for four months. Iraqi officials have been giving excuses every time, sometimes saying it is due to poor internet connection, sometimes saying their staff are participating in training and the date of opening is still unknown," said Khudeda Chuky, mayor of Sinuny.

"Most of the IDP have returned to Sinuny and thousands of people need to resume the work of the national card office, we have repeatedly requested the reopening of the office, but our efforts have been in vain," he said.

Shingal, 120 km west of Mosul, a disputed area in Nineveh province with a majority Ezidi (Yazidi) population, was captured by the extremist militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS on August 3, 2014, and thousands of people from that community faced killing, kidnapping and displacement until November 13, 2015, the district was recaptured by the Iraqi Security Forces ISF.

The war against ISIS militants eight years ago caused great damage to the infrastructure and public sector in Shingal, including water and electricity distribution networks, damaging houses, schools and religious sites.

Up to the present, state departments have not fully returned to the war-torn region.

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