Kurdish Youth Forces in Syria Accuse Parties of Squeezing Them Out

15/01/2013 RUDAW By ADIB ABDULMAJID – AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Youth forces charge that they played the largest role in the Syrian uprising, but are being elbowed out in the emerging political process by Kurdish opposition parties that have nothing to show for decades of fighting for Syria’s Kurds.

The three largest Kurdish youth groups last week boycotted a conference of the Kurdish National Council (KNC), which is part of the larger Syrian opposition, accusing political parties of grabbing centre stage at the Qamishli meeting on Thursday and pushing them aside. “The political parties constantly marginalize the large role of youth movements in the Syrian revolution,” complained Yilmaz Saeed, a member of the Kurdish Youth Movement, referring to the more than 20-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “The KNC’s meetings and conferences turned recently into occasions for political leaders to exaggerate their efforts for the revolution, though they did not achieve anything remarkable,” he said. According to Saeed, political parties are supposed to form 45 percent of the KNC, with more than half reserved for youth forces. “However, the parties interfere in the selection of representatives of the youth movements and independent activists in order to guarantee their dominance on the council and its agenda,” he accused.

“We made our decision to boycott this conference after realising the exclusion and marginalization of our activities by the KSC’s leadership,” he added. Besides Saeed’s group, the Union of Kurdish Coordination Committees and the Movement of Revolutionary Youth in Qamishli, also stayed away from the conference. Meanwhile, KNC leader Faisal Yusif said it was impossible to keep everyone happy. The conference discussed the recent developments in the Kurdish areas of Syria, and elected representatives from the 16 parties and organizations that work under the KNC’s umbrella.  “We try to satisfy all the parties in the council, but, unfortunately, sometimes the council is required to do what even a government cannot easily achieve,” Yusif told news website

“We admit that the KNC is not performing perfectly, but our limited capabilities should also be taken into consideration.” Yusif emphasized that the KNC includes a majority of the Kurdish youth movements and independent organizations. “Political parties were given plenty of opportunity to lead the people for decades, but they couldn’t accomplish anything much,” said Hemin Darwish, a member of the Union of Kurdish Coordination Committees.