In terms of administration, the agreement rightly seeks to overcome a major stumbling block to improve governance – dual administrations – while trying to make the board more representative of the ethno-political communities based in the district. While these points address the concerns of Sinjar communities, they alone are not enough to solve governance challenges. The above results illustrate the possibilities arising from the agreement, as well as its limitations. In terms of safety (see Part 1 for more information), the agreement aims to meet two important needs and requirements of the county municipalities. The first is to try to rethink the security apparatus so that the local police play a more active role, in line with the perceptions and demands of the community. Second, the pact`s provision that all forces, with the exception of local police and intelligence agencies associated with the government, must be removed from the district could go a long way in allaying citizens` fears of possible clashes between security groups in their area. If these points are indeed successfully implemented – and in a way that involves local police in all communities and political currents – then they could help improve stability in the district. The signatories to the October agreement hoped to remedy this confusion by ordering the withdrawal of all “armed formations” except the “local police” and Iraqi national security and intelligence. The agreement explicitly mentioned the abolition of the PKK.
Its presence in parts of northern Iraq has led to Turkish airstrikes and cross-border raids over the past year, as well as recent fears of further escalation. The Sinjar Agreement highlights an important lesson: community participation is crucial if the agreement is to reflect the needs of the communities. Although there was no invasion, there is also no real peace in Sinjar. Since the deal has so far not brought the stability that has been lacking in the neighborhood for so long, residents have minimal confidence in the authorities. While they had hopes for the Sinjar agreement, they hope the new law for survivors will help bring the region the conclusion and help it so desperately needs. But they will believe it when they see it. The 9. In October, the German government signed in Baghdad the agreement to restore stability and normalization of the situation in the Sinjar district, a joint security agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG) on Sinjar, a Yazidi town in Iraq`s Nineveh governorate that was the victim of the Islamic State attack in 2014 and resulted in genocide against its inhabitants. Strategically located in the northwestern region of Nineveh, Sinjar borders the Syrian province of al-Hasakah to the northwest and the Turkish province of Silopi/Sirnak to the northeast.
The city`s position in areas contested by the federal government and the KRG shapes competition for state control. While the agreement eases ongoing tensions between Iraqi and Kurdish elites, it does not address local demands for an inclusive political solution. Unless local minorities become interest groups alongside Iraq`s national and subnational governments, exclusive and top-down negotiations will continue to prevent conflict resolution in one of the country`s most fragile regions. However, these points are undermined to some extent by the nature of the agreement: by targeting the PMF, the PKK and its affiliated armed groups, the agreement risks exacerbating tensions and conflicts with these groups, which were not involved in the negotiations that led to the agreement. Therefore, the paradox of the agreement is that it is an agreement between two actors (GoI and KRG) competing with other political and military entities outside their jurisdiction for control of the district. This major restriction could actually lead to more tensions and conflicts, rather than dissipating them. The agreement`s attempt to unify and depoliticize the district`s governing body would undoubtedly be a necessary step towards improving governance in the district, especially since nearly two-thirds of Sinjar residents have little (33%) or no confidence (35%) in the current district administration. (In this question, it was not specified which administration.
Instead, it provides a general overview of the district`s administrative arrangement.) Nevertheless, other views highlighted by the CSMF show that much remains to be done beyond this stage if governance is to be improved. The lack of basic services (water, electricity, etc.) in the district is a particular challenge that goes beyond simply forming an unpoliticized local administration: the majority of district residents say their needs for essential services are either “not very well met” (45%) or “completely unmet” (15%). And to the extent that these services exist, residents of the Sinjar Center and Sinuni sub-districts, regardless of their ethno-sectarian identity, feel that they are not being taken care of equally. Partly because of this perception, the vast majority of residents (76 percent) believe the state is absent from the county and that they have to rely on other actors for their government needs. The fragmentation of governance and insecurity in Sinjar and the rest of Iraq`s disputed territories have had a direct impact on acts of violence against minorities. After years of neglect, exacerbated by insecurity and reckless development, minorities sought the help of internal and external non-state actors to protect them after the advance of the Islamic State in 2014. After gaining a foothold in Syria`s Jazeera region, the Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK) and its proxy, the Kurdish-dominated People`s Defense Units, offered humanitarian and military aid to fleeing Yazidis, leading to the formation of a militia, the PKK-affiliated Shingal Resistance Unit (YBS). Other Yazidis formed a Yazidi-Yazidi force, while some joined the Shia-dominated Peshmerga and Popular Mobilization Forces (al-hashd al-sha`abi). Four Yazidi militias currently operate in Sinjar: the YBS has about 2,500 members; the Yazidi Peshmerga force about 7,000; Yazidkhan Protection Forces about 3,000; and between 1,500 and 2,000 Yazidis joined the Popular Mobilization Forces. One of the main concerns of the agreement is what to do with these forces and how best to demobilize them or integrate them into the government security forces. Recalibration of the existing agreement requires short- and long-term conflict resolution strategies to meet local demands for substantial representation in the areas of governance, security and reconstruction.
In the short term, those in power in Baghdad and Erbil should facilitate municipal and local participation and representation by working directly with several Yazidi stakeholders, especially civil society organizations. The collective demands and interests of groups are rarely monolithic. The existing agreement should be reformulated to give the local population freedom of choice through bottom-up community solutions as a path to reconciliation and daily peace. Finally, Iraqi leaders in Baghdad will need to develop institutional solutions to address the status of the disputed territories that are centered on minority interests alongside those of the KRG – interests that are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Options include the establishment of separate minority administrative zones, as promulgated in article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution, and the revival of the 2008 UNAMI process with respect to the disputed territories in consultation with minority actors, given the socio-economic, political and security conditions that have developed since 2014. Such bottom-up political arrangements, long advocated by minorities in the disputed territories, could ease existing tensions over political representation, foreign intervention and influence, security and reconstruction. The Sinjar agreement announced by Baghdad and Erbil in October. 9, 2019, and with the aim of solving all the problems of security, governance and service in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq, has not yet been implemented, said Wednesday the Prime Minister of the Government of Northern Iraqi Kurdistan Regional (KRG), Masrour Barzani. Editor`s Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on the October 2020 Sinjar Agreement and the perception of security and governance in the district by its communities. Part 1 of this series gave a historical overview of the district and examined the views of its communities on security issues. .