An armed Yezidi man walks through the ruins of Shingal city. File photo: Hawre Khalid / AJ
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Shingal’s “legitimate” administration, which fled to the Kurdistan Region following the Peshmerga’s retreat on October 17, 2017, is set to return and resume its duties after Erbil and Baghdad struck a deal with the backing of Nineveh provincial council.
Saydo Chato, the Yezidi head of Nineveh provincial council, told Rudaw its members met with security officials, police, intelligence services, army brigades, and Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias on Sunday evening at the Nineveh Operations Command headquarters.
The meeting agreed to allow the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-controlled Shingal administration to return to assume its duties after more than a year of inactivity.
The returnees include Mahma Khalil, mayor of Shingal, Ways Nayif, head of Shingal district council, Nayif Saydo, mayor of Snune, and other district officials.
The council will return on Wednesday, October 31. The Nineveh council had been unwilling to deal with the “illegitimate” Shingal administration put in its place, Chato said.
“Now the legitimate administration will return, and this is an important step for the normalization of the situation and the return of IDPs to their areas,” Chato added.
Khalil, the mayor of Shingal, confirmed the news to Rudaw, adding that it was an agreement between the KRG, the Iraqi government, and the Nineveh provincial council. He has already sent a decree for officials and employees to return to work.
The Iraqi Army and security forces have promised to provide Shingal with security, he added. There is no mention of the Peshmerga returning.
Shingal is a disputed territory and home to a substantial Yezidi community. It was seized by ISIS in 2014 following a Peshmerga retreat, but was later liberated.
Political tensions have prevented the return of its residents.