ERBIL — The Yezidi population of Sinjar continue to suffer from instability and deadly military clashes which are likely to lead the region to another humanitarian crisis if not addressed, said Saood Misto, a senior advisor to the Yezidi Spiritual Council.
During an exclusive interview with BasNews, Misto explained that the only viable way out of the current crisis in Sinjar is the implementation of the 2020’s Erbil-Baghdad Agreement which requires the removal of all armed groups and militia forces in order to restore government rule and rebuild the area.
[Below is the interview which was translated from Kurdish and edited for clarity and length.]
BasNews: How do you describe the current situation in Sinjar? Especially as civilians continue to pay the price for the war between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey?
Saood Misto: The situation in sinjar is going in the direction of another catastrophe and there is little hope because the armed groups outside the state’s defense structure are ruling the region instead of a legitimate government administration. Public services are destroyed and there has been no initiative to restore the region. These all together have made Sinjar a hotbed for armed groups who serve external agendas.
BasNews: People in Sinjar have made it clear that they reject the presence of the outlaws and militia groups. How these forces can be driven out?
Saood Misto: The Yezidis have been subject to horrendous crimes. These forces should have respected their suffering and sacrifices. We can see that these armed groups are the reason for the prolonged suffering of the people of Sinjar, and they make the Yezidis pay the price for their violence and foreign agendas. The people of Sinjar should unite to oust these groups and prevent them from exploiting the civilians in the region.
BasNews: Is the Iraqi government incapable or unwilling to remove these armed groups from Sinjar?
Saood Misto: The Iraqi government has neglected Sinjar while it should be responsible for the governance, services, and security of the region. If the Iraqi government had not supported these forces in the first place, the situation would have been different now. After Sinjar was liberated from the Islamic State (IS), Baghdad offered these groups financial support, which ultimately helped them to strengthen their presence in the region. The situation is so chaotic now that no one knows who is in charge of Sinjar.
BasNews: How the 2020’s Erbil-Baghdad Agreement can go into effect?
Saood Misto: The agreement is actually the only hope for restoration of government administration, normalization of the situation, ousting the outlaws, providing public services, and helping the IDPs to return to their homes. The reason is that all international stakeholders and humanitarian organizations support the agreement.
BasNews: The international community repeatedly expresses concern over the current situation in Sinjar. However, they have not practically taken any steps to help Sinjar. Why?
Saood Misto: The international sides support the legitimate path to resolve the issue. They deal with the legal forces and they have repeatedly called for the removal of the illegitimate forces from Sinjar. But the problem is that these forces refuse to leave and they continue to impose themselves on the people of Sinjar.