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Baghdad and Erbil appoint mayor in disputed Shengal area to outrage from Yazidi groups

OFFICIALS in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Erbil have been accused of a stitch-up after an unelected mayor was appointed to the disputed Shengal region without consultation with its Yazidi residents, it was announced today.

Khidir Rasho was named as the new mayor, despite living abroad for the past seven years, confirmed Qadir Qachakh, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Shengal.

He made the announcement from his office in Duhok, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where the KDP has been based since it left Shengal following the 2017 independence referendum.

“They have agreed to appoint him. It is true that he is living abroad but he used to live in Shengal and was the head of the sub-district [of Snune],” Mr Qachakh said.

“This will take effect after the invaders leave Shengal. The security and the administrative vacuum will be dealt with,” the KDP official said.

The appointment comes after the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed a so-called security deal for the governance of Shengal, which lies in a disputed area in Iraq’s Nineveh province.

It was the site of a 2014 genocide committed by Isis, when at least 5,000 men and boys were massacred and thousands of women and girls were raped and sold into sexual slavery. Almost 3,000 remain missing.

The jihadists were defeated by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which retains a strong influence in the area and has the support of the Yazidi community.

But both Baghdad and Erbil want to weaken the Kurdish movement, fearing that the implementation of its radical, democratic system of self-governance in Shengal may spread and weaken its grip on power.

Turkey has targeted Shengal, attacking the region with missiles throughout July and September. It insists that it is targeting “terrorists” associated with the PKK.

But PKK forces have long withdrawn, with the Shengal Resistance Units now one of the main groups providing security for the region.

The deal has been welcomed by the United Nations, the US, France and other imperialist powers but has been roundly rejected by the people of Shengal, who have not seen the details of the agreement and were excluded from the process.

“This agreement is a deal to destroy the Yazidis,” Riham Hico, co-chair of the executive council of the Democratic Autonomous Administration of Shengal said.

“We will not accept it.”

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