The Iraq government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have issued statements confirming that they have reached agreement on Sinjar. However, Sinjar’s Autonomous Administration Assembly has reacted to these statements and clarified that it will not accept an agreement that excludes the wishes of the people of Sinjar.
The KRG and Iraq government have been engaged in negotiations over the situation and status of Sinjar for some time. The negotiations have also been taking place within the context of calls by the United States government to both parties to reach agreement on the matter.
The Iraq government announced that an agreement had been reached on 9 October. The agreement includes the removal of military forces from the region. According to the agreement, various political groups such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) could open representative offices in Sinjar. The security of the region will be undertaken by the police force of the federation.
Sinjar Democratic Autonomous Assembly reacts to the agreement
Sinjar’s Democratic Autonomous Assembly (MXDŞ) issued a statement about the agreement. MXDŞ stated it will not approve negotiations or an agreement that ignores the will of the Yazidis who live there. MXDŞ stated that the people of Sinjar will determine their own fate.
MXDŞ noted that Yazidis have been continuously subjected to massacres under various political administrations and it emphasised the fact that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had perpetrated a genocide against the Yazidi people, and had begun the genocide on 3 August 2014 at a time when the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Iraq government had been in power.
The Iraq government and the KRG has negotiated over the disputed area within the scope of Article 140. MXDŞ stated that the people of Sinjar were not informed of these negotiations on Sinjar and also expressed the view that it considered such a solution without involving the views of the people of Sinjar unacceptable.
MXDŞ stated: “We aim to ensure our people achieve a consistent status. We underline that Yazidi people’s demands must be taken into account. We ruled Sinjar for six years without any problems. Thus, we will keep serving our people. Any decision imposed without the will of the Yazidi community will be problematic. We warn all sides involved in this now. To consider that if negotiations are to take place positively, we should also be taken into account as another side in the negotiations. We are in favour of peace and dialogue. However, we cannot accept impositions of this kind and a resultant situation which opposes our people’s interests. People of Sinjar have to react against this agreement”.
What is Article 140?
Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution had included arabization policies that were implemented in Kurdish regions during the period of rule of Saddam Hüseyin (Saddam Hussein). Kurdish people were forcibly displaced to settle Arab people into the region in that time. The Ba’ath administration was overthrown in 2003. After that, it was decided that a referendum would be held in these regions to consider the demographic features of the region before the Ba’ath regime’s actions.