Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and Shingal Democratic Autonomous Administration reject top-down Baghdad-Erbil agreement in joint statement

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq – A joint delegation from the Yazidi Council for a Democratic Autonomous Administration in Shingal and the Yazidi Freedom and Democracy Party received President of the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union (HBA) Mr. Yusuf Yahqub Matti in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq. The two sides held talks on the situation in the Iraqi disputed areas in general and on the latest developments around Shingal in particular.

Both sides re-affirmed their strong rejection of any top-down agreement that does not take into account the will of the people in the disputed areas. The parties are referring to the recent agreement between Erbil and Baghdad to install a new administration in Shingal. Something that is done over the head of the residents of the area, and by sidelining their political parties and representations, they claim.

The Yazidi Council for a Democratic Autonomous Administration in Shingal sees itself as the best alternative to self-administer the Shingal area. It says the Kurdish Peshmerga abandoned the Yazidi’s when ISIS attacked Shingal in 2014. The Council has ties with the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ), a militia close to PKK that was formed to protect the region from ISIS, has rejected the agreement from its outset: “We will not accept any agreement in any way if the people of Shingal are not consulted; this agreement is a political move which most of Shingal’s residents were not aware of.”

The Kurdistan Workers Party PKK is outlawed by Turkey which in turn backs the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party of the Barzani family in the Kurdish Region in Iraq. The Erbil-Baghdad agreement foresees in the full withdrawal of the YBŞ from Shingal to be replaced by federal security forces. The Iraqi central government has send about 6,000 security forces to Shingal since signing the agreement.

The Bethnahrain Patriotic Union has also rejected the agreement and strongly criticized Erbil and Baghdad for not consulting the peoples of the disputed area and including them in the solution: “Iraqi PM al-Kadhimi knows very well that these peoples have the right to participate in political dialogues about their ‘disputed area’. Hence, we consider this agreement purely political. In our letter annex statement, we make clear to the Iraqi PM that the Yazidi and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian peoples must be given their legal right to inclusion in political dialogues, and we call for the formation of joint committees between Baghdad, the Kurdistan Region, and all politicians and parties in the region.”


In their talks, the two sides agreed to implement a number of joint activities as part of a campaign against the Baghdad-Erbil agreement. After the meeting, President of the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union Matti referred in his remarks to ROJ News Agency to their understanding with the Yazidi political parties and organizations about achieving joint work aimed at achieving inclusive dialogues between Baghdad, Erbil and the self-representation organizations of the Yazidis and Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians in obtaining full rights for all components.

Matti reiterated his rejection of every resolution or agreement concerning the so-called disputed areas, as covered by Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, without the consent of the residents of those areas, adding: “We stand by the rights of the Yazidis and all other components.”

Fikret Igrek, co-chairman of the Yazidi Council for a Democratic Autonomous Administration of Sinjar in Europe, said to ROJ; “We discussed with Bethnahrain Patriotic Union, in particular the 2016 European Parliament‘s decision on the establishment of an Autonomous Administration for the Yazidi and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian peoples in Nineveh Plain and Sinjar.”

“Today we have drawn up a roadmap, and in the coming period we will discuss it extensively,” Fikret Igrek added. He described the Baghdad-Erbil agreement on Shingal a “lack of respect” for the Yazidis and other components of Shingal and called the agreement illegal.