Shengal Construction Assembly President: KDP embargo targets Êzidîs

Shengal Construction Assembly President Xıdır Saleh said those that fled the city along with 12 thousand peshmergas and left the people to the mercy of ISIS gangs would not hesitate to put an embargo and starve the people of Shengal.

Shengal Construction Assembly President Xıdır Saleh spoke to ANF and stated that the KDP put a political and economical embargo upon the Êzidîs in Mount Shengal, and criticized parties in the Kurdistan parliament such as PUK, Goran and Islamic Group for turning a blind eye to the issue. Saleh recalled that 12 thousand peshmergas and KDP police forces had escaped from the town and turned in hundreds of thousands of civilians to ISIS during the 2014 massacre, so the KDP would not hesitate to starve the citizens of Shengal through the ongoing embargo.


Saleh stated that trade with the areas under ISIS occupation continues, and the KDP is more tolerant towards ISIS than they are towards the Êzidîs of Shengal. Saleh mentioned the Human Rights Watch report condemning the KDP embargo and said “Cisre Sihela is the only official connection path to South Kurdistan but it is closed due to the KDP’s arbitrary policies. 200-300 hundred thousand Êzidîs stay in camps across South Kurdistan and have relatives and houses in Shengal. So they come and go for emergencies. Nobody has the right to close down the roads and to put an embargo on us. They are doing this to force the people to take a stance against the forces that prevented the genocide attempt at 2014. They kept the road to Mosul open and continued to do trade with ISIS, but they keep us under an embargo.”


Xıdır Saleh emphasized that the KDP’s embargo aims to control Êzidîs and hide their role in the peshmergas’ betrayal of the city in 2014, but Êzidî people will not be grateful and continue to criticize KDP policies. Saleh said “International organizations and the Iraqi government sent aid worth millions of dollars to the South Kurdistan administration for the return of civilians to Shengal, but the KDP prevents civilians from returning to the city. KDP’s policies are defeated in Shengal. Êzidîs will not accept the political status quo of the pre-August 3 period. This shows that Êzidîs do not trust the KDP. Once Shengal and nearby regions are completely liberated and our people return to their lands, we will respond to this betrayal and blackmailing.”


Saleh noted that the presence of guerrillas is used as an excuse but the KDP’s embargo targets Êzidî people. He emphasized that the guerrillas are only concerned with the liberation of civilians in Shengal and have no financial expectations from the KDP or Êzidî people.


Saleh recalled that Êzidîs have been betrayed and put to massacres many times in history, and could not create the conditions for freedom until now. With the lessons learned from the latest massacre attempt, people stood up against collaborators and betrayers for the first time as they put up a resistance against ISIS at Mount Shengal. He said that KDP tried several policies to but the allegiance of Êzidî people, but these people see the honor in their land and would not surrender to the KDP.


Xıdır Saleh criticized the KDP for preventing aid from arriving at Mount Shengal, and called for the formation of a new mechanism that takes local assemblies into account for the fair delivery of aid to Shengal.

Lastly, Shengal Construction Assembly President said “South Kurdistan administrations and organizations affiliated with Barzani do not deliver the majority of the aid that they receive for Shengal, and put their logos on the few aid packages that they deliver for political purposes. We call upon international organizations to deliver the aid themselves or monitor the current delivery of aid. People need food, tents, water, medical materials and other life supplies as we approach winter.”