Iraqi government announces ‘historic agreement’ with KRG over Sinjar

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa la-Kadhimi chairs a meeting between Iraqi and Kurdish delegations in Baghdad, October 9, 2020. (PM office)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi government on Friday announced a “historic agreement” with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over governance and security situation in Sinjar.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi “sponsored a historic agreement that will strengthen the authority of the federal government in Sinjar in accordance with the constitution,” spokesman Ahmad Mulla Talal said in a tweet.

The deal “ends the power of intruding groups, and paves the way for the reconstruction of the city and the return of its people in coordination with the Kurdistan Regional Government,” Talal tweeted.

Kadhimi stressed that the security in western Nineveh falls within the authority of the federal government, his office said in a separate tweet.

The premier stressed “the government’s keenness and seriousness for Sinjar to be free of armed groups, whether local or from outside the borders”.

The agreement came after KRG Minister of Interior Rebar Ahmed visited Baghdad for talks on the security situation in Sinjar.

“Will be in Baghdad tomorrow to finalize an agreement with the Federal Government to normalize the situation and restore stability in Sinjar district,” Ahmed tweeted on Thursday night.

Islamic State (ISIS) overran the Yazidi faith’s heartland of Sinjar in the Kurdistan Region in 2014, forcing young women into servitude as “wives” for its fighters and massacring men and older women.

The militants shot, beheaded, burned alive or kidnapped more than 9,000 members of the minority religion, in what the United Nations has called a genocidal campaign against them. According to community leaders, more than 3,000 Yazidis remain unaccounted for.

On Wednesday, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called for the normalization of the security situation in Sinjar to allow Yazidis to return to the district.

“I … urge for the normalization of the security situation in Shingal to allow Yazidi refugees and IDPs to safely return to their ancestral homes with pride and dignity,” Barzani said.

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