Iraqi National Security Advisor has proposed new candidates

Shingal leaders insist Fahad Hamid retain his position as district commissioner

Ninewa- Shingal district commissioner Fahad Hamid along with Ezidi tribal and religious leaders take part in a protest an Islamic State atrocity, February 2019 Photo: Shingal administration media

Ammar Aziz- Shingal

None of the three candidates put forth by Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih Fayadh have gained support to assume post of Shingal (Sinjar) district commissioner; meanwhile the district’s interim council and a number of tribal and religious leaders in the predominantly Ezidi populated town have agreed that current district commissioner Fahad Hamid retains his position.

Fayadh visited Shingal earlier this month and during his meetings with dignitaries and representatives of political parties he suggested a list of three candidates for the post which included Ali Khalaf, Haidar Elyas and Khidir Salih.

Shingal Acting district commissioner Fahad Hamid told KirkukNow, “One of the aims of Fayadh’s visit was to install a new district commissioner for Shingal. He held extensive meetings attended by representatives of political parties, tribal leaders and security authorities to discuss the issue.”

Each of current acting district commissioner and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-supported district commissioner Mahma Khalil were excluded from Fayadh’s list of candidates.

They want to appoint someone acceptable by both Baghdad and Erbil

“Falih Fayadh reaffirmed that Fahad Hamid is not accepted by the Kurdistan regional government (KRG), while Mahma Khalil is rejected by Baghdad; therefore they want to appoint someone acceptable by both sides”, said Saeed Mulhim, head of Shingal’s interim district council.

Mulhim added that the council has “rejected all three candidates put forth by Fayadh.”

On January 27, 2018 a new interim administration was declared in Shingal which included the acting district commissioner, head of the district council along with 21 council members comprised of tribal leaders, intellectuals, political party representatives from the different components of Shingal. The interim administration has not been recognized by local authorities in Ninewa province

Saeed Mulhim stressed that “to maintain stability in the area  we refuse any person other that Fahad Hamid to assume the post until provincial council elections are held.”

Meanwhile, Fakhir Khalaf, an Ezidi religious leader expressed support to Fahad Hamid to retain his positions as district commissioner, saying that “Fahad Hamid did not abandon the people of Shingal during the hard days.”

The appointment of a new district commissioner is not within the authorities of a single person or group

Commenting on whether he plans to stay in his post, Hamid said, “In the meeting with Fayadh I expressed readiness to resign in case someone else is elected to serve the people, but the tribal and religious leaders as well as Shingal security authorities voted for my staying as district commissioner.”

 KDP-supported Shingal district commissioner Mahma Khalil, who left Shingal in the wake of the October 16, 2017 events, and is currently in Duhok, said, “The appointment of a new district commissioner is not within the authorities of a single person or group. The issue should be dealt with according to the constitution.”

 Shingal is a disputed territory 120 km west of Mosul and is administratively part of Ninewa province. Since October 2017, security in the district has been handed to Iraqi federal forces after the withdrawal of Kurdish Peshmarga forces.

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