Yezidis demand autonomy: leader

Haider Shasho, commander of the Yezidi Shingal Protection Forces. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Cologne, Germany – Haider Shasho, commander of the Yezidi Shingal Protection Forces in northern Iraq, met with the Yezidi community in the German city of Cologne, to discuss the circumstances of his arrest by the Peshmerga forces.

He has been arrested shortly by the Kurdish authorities for attempts to form a so-called “illegal force”. 

Shasho spoke about the general situation of Shingal (Sinjar), the political reasons for his arrest by the Peshmerga, the goals of the newly established Yezidi political entity, and the need to work like other Kurdish parties in Iraq.

In an exclusive interview with ARA News, Shasho said: “Our meetings in Germany are aimed at raising awareness about the deteriorating conditions of the Yezidi area of Shingal and other developments in northern Iraq.” 

“We intend to form an independent Yezidi entity in northern Iraq, to guarantee equal rights to the members of our community there,” he said. 

“We as Yezidis will not detach ourselves from the Kurdistan Region, we are also Kurds, it’s our right as part of the Kurdish people to have an independent political and administrative entity, so we can serve our people and protect their rights,” Shasho said.

“We aspire for an autonomous administration in Shingal, that can have good relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but enjoy a right to self-determination,” he said during an interview with ARA News. 

Shasho talked about the so-called “Peshmerga’s tactical withdrawal” from Shingal following the IS offensive on the area, saying that the Kurdish defense system failed to defend Yezidi civilians against terrorists of the Islamic State. 

“The alternative solution for the Yezidi community in Shingal is to run their areas by themselves.” 

He pointed out that the Iraqi constitution allows “in Article 125 and Article 119″ the Yezidis to autonomously administer their areas “in accordance with the supreme interest of the Yezidi community”. 

Haider Shasho had been arrested by Iraqi Kurdistan authorities on April, 5, 2015, after trying to form a military force that run outside the law and the Ministry of Peshmerga in the Sinjar area, as stated by the official spokesman for the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region.

Interview by: Ali Isso

Source: ARA News

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