After the government of Iraq called on the Yazidi (Êzîdxan) Asayish (public security) forces to leave the city centre of Sinjar, thousands of people joined a march to protest against this initiative, Mesopotamia Agency reports.
Following the Sinjar agreement that was signed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government of Iraq concerning the future of the status of Sinjar, the Iraq government has repeatedly been pressurising the local Yazidi security forces to vacate the town of Sinjar.
Even as the Executive Council of the Sinjar Democratic Autonomous Administration (MXSD) held an emergency meeting to discuss the Iraq government’s demands, thousands of people from Sinjar marched in protest against these measures aimed at forcing the Yazidi forces to vacate the city centre.
Iraqi security forces, mobilised at the entrance to the city centre, sought to prevent the march from taking place by blocking roads with armoured vehicles. Despite these blockades, Yazidi protesters marched. Women led the protests and Yazidi opinion leaders also attended the protests. A woman protester was reportedly injured during an attack by Iraqi security forces.
Yazidis had organised the Sinjar Defence Units (YBS) to resist the attacks against the Yazidis in 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, or Daesh). Yazidi women also established their own self-defence units, named Sinjar Women’s Protection Units (YJS) in 2015. The YBŞ and YJS together established the Yazidi security forces known as the “Êzidxan Asayish” to ensure the internal security of Sinjar in 2016. This security organisation has protected villages and central points of Sinjar since then.
A vigil was also launched on 2 December by the people of Sinjar to support the Êzîdxan Asayish and to protest against the agreement signed between the government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The vigil of the Sinjar people continues.