MESOP : REVOLUTIONARY OCCUPATION POLICY Á LA PKK – Controversial ‘Shingal Council’ denies PKK affiliation

by Nasir Ali – Rudaw – 20 Jan 2015 – DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – A member of a controversial council announced by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party to administer Shingal denied that the administration for self-rule has any links with the PKK. At the same time, Saied Hussein said that the council is formally backed by the PKK, and claimed there are other organizations and individuals providing political and financial support.The Council of Yezidis which will administer the area was announced last Wednesday at a meeting in town of Sinune, where members of the PKK and some other political parties from the Kurdistan Region were present. However, the creation of the council has been rejected by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has warned it will not brook “foreign interference” in Shingal.

Hussein said that the council also was backed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, but a PUK representative who attended Wednesday’s meeting said he was duped into being there. Some of those elected also said they had no idea what they were getting into.Around 200 Yezidi Kurds participated in the council, Hussein said, representing Yezidi refugees in Syrian Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Region and on Mount Shingal. He said that 78 people had nominated themselves and 27 were voted into the council.

He said that the 27 members include representatives from various parties, including the Peoples Protection Units (YPG), Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ), Women’s Protection Unit of Shingal, the Movement of Democratic Freedom of Yezidis and the Reform Movement of Yezidis.The YPG, the military wing of the PKK in Syria, has been fighting in Shingal alongside Peshmerga forces, following a takeover of the predominantly Yezidi area in northern Iraq last August by the Islamic State (ISIS).

“Our goal is to serve Yezidis. We are not against Kurds and Kurdistan and we have not created a canton,” Hussein claimed.The creation of the council was first announced in a PKK statement from the organization’s military base in the Qandil mountains, but Hussein denied any affiliation with the PKK. “Our council is not affiliated with the PKK, but PKK and PUK are supportive of our council. During the announcement of our council, both PKK and PUK delivered statements and expressed their support for the council,” he said. “In addition to the support of Kurdish political parties, we enjoy support from external parties as well but we do not want to reveal their identities,” Hussein said. “We will set up our representation in all the towns (in the Shingal area),” he added. “We will not recognize the previous mayor and other officials of the area. We will elect new officials through our council.”

But Hussein Darman, deputy head of the PUK branch in Mosul who represented his party at the council’s first meeting, said he was duped into attending.

“Two days ahead of the meeting I was informed by phone to attend a meeting of Kurdish political parties to discuss the lives of Yezidis in Shingal. After I attended, I realized that it was a conference. I did not say anything. Still, there has been a huge fuss about my participation,” he said.

“There is no Shingal Canton. I did not know that was their intention,” he said, adding he had come under severe criticism by his party for attending the meeting.

Qasim Semo, director of security in Shingal, said that “seventy percent of the members of the council are from the Syrian Kurdistan. Other than a few who completed elementary school, the rest are uneducated.” He added that, “Some of their members have come to us and apologized. They say that they went for food but were elected as members of the council.” A member of the council, who is also a member of the protection committee, said he was asked to nominate himself. “I am a shepherd. They called me for the conference. When I arrived they told me to nominate myself. I did and I got 30 votes. Now I am a member of the council,” he explained.