Two-week vigil for Shengal launched in Hanover

A two-week vigil demanding autonomy for Shengal began in Hanover on Saturday. The protest is supported by Yazidi organizations in the German territory.

A vigil demanding autonomous status for Shengal (Sinjar) began this Saturday at Steintorplatz in the heart of Hanover, Germany Around a hundred people took part in the start of the action, which will take place daily for two weeks. The background to the initiative, which is supported by several Yazidi organizations from Germany, is the planned dissolution of the self-governing structures in the main Yazidi settlement area in Southern Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.

The organizations demand the annulment of the agreement on Shengal concluded last October under UN supervision between the Southern Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad under pressure from the USA and Turkey. The agreement provides for the dissolution of Shengal's military and political forces and is intended to restore the KDP’s dominance in the region, thus securing the central government's influence.

At Saturday’s rally, several members of the participating organizations spoke and a music band from the Yazidi Art and Culture Association performed musical pieces. A representative from the Yazidi Central Association NAV-YEK recalled the flight-like retreat of the KDP peshmerga from the ISIS in August 2014 and said the following: "At that time, the Yazidi people were denied protection from the genocide. Today, since some of the refugees decided to return to Shengal, the region is under attack by the KDP and the AKP/MHP regime. The autonomy of Shengal's Yazidi community as an independent canton of Êzîdxan is wanted to be prevented by all means, including another war if necessary. These aggressions must be decisively countered at an early stage so that new massacres do not occur.”

The vigil in Hanover is supported by the Council of Yazidis from Shengal in Europe (MŞD), the Central Association of Yazidi Associations (NAV-YÊK), the umbrella organization of the Yazidi Women's Council (SMJÊ), the Association of Yazidi Youth (HCÊ), the Alliance of Yazidis from Syria (YÊS) and the umbrella organization of Yazidi Village Communities (SMGÊ). The action will take place daily at the same location from 1 to 3 p.m. until January 30.