“We must prepare to protect Shengal and the Yezidi community”

We interviewed Maryam Mustafa Jando from the Coordination of the Yezidi Women Union about the current situation of the Yezidi community, especially in Shengal. In the following she explains:

“Since the dawn of history, the original Yezidi Kurds have been playing a great role in society. They have been a source of culture for thousands of years. Despite of all the hardships and sufferings of Yezidi people, they haven’t abandoned their culture and preserved their customs and religious traditions up till nowadays.

The Yezidis have been subjected to many attacks, massacres, and looting of property throughout history. Today, once again, we find our people in Shengal face to face with a new massacre, as if seventy-four massacres were not enough to satisfy the great powers that wish to wipe the Yezidis off the face of the earth.

On August 3rd, 2014 many countries and powers agreed to end the Yezidi existence through the use of ISIS incursion — which is considered the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world — by sending them to Shengal which is the largest Yezidi stronghold, to carry out the mission that their Ottoman ancestors failed to conclude for centuries.

ISIS was supplied with the most modern types of weapons provided by a NATO country with an extremist ideology. A country which says that the Yezidis are infidels, and their money and their women are permissible for them.

By the start of the ISIS invasion on Shengal, we saw how the Peshmerga forces withdrew by direct instructions of the leadership of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Iraqi army, leaving the defenseless Yezidis facing the threat of extermination, at a time when the two sides ought to protect Shengal.

As a result, huge disaster occurred against the Yezidis from killing, kidnapping, rape and torture of thousands of Yezidi women as they deprived them of their children.

After Shengal was liberated from ISIS terrorism, the men and women of Shengal recovered their strength and organized themselves in the ranks of the Shengal Protection Units YPŞ and the Shengal Women Units YJŞ, which includes many women who were liberated from ISIS slavery. They established their own Autonomous Administration to manage themselves after more than four hundred people lost their lives.

Now, once again they are trying to eliminate the Yezidi people. On October 9th, an agreement regarding Shengal was made between the Kurdistan region and Baghdad. Here it appears to us that they want to implement what they agreed upon about Shengal.

To accomplish this, they are preparing to bring thousands of military forces into Shengal. This raises the question, why are these forces are being brought in? When ISIS attacked Shengal and when we were fighting against ISIS, where were these forces? Now there is no need for any extra military forces in Shengal, because the protection forces of Shengal YPŞ and YJŞ which were formed of young Yezidi men and women can protect Shengal.

In the end, to block this path forming leading towards genocide, we appeal to all parties and political forces in the four parts of Kurdistan and our people to prepare to protect Shengal and the Yezidi community.”

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