Post October 16th 2017: Funds halted for rebuilding Shingal (Sinjar)

Ninewa, 2018: Ruins in Shingal following the dark ages of ISIS reign. Ibrahim Ezidi

By Ammar Aziz in Ninawa

Over 60 projects of renovation have been halted by the government in the war-ravaged Shingal due to the tense relations between the federal Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.

A thorough follow up by KirkukNow has found out that following the events of October 16th 2017, several vital projects in the health and education sector for the vulnerable community have been set aside.

Following ousting Saddam regime in 2003, the Kurds took control over part of the disputed territories and marched forward in 2017 when ISIS took over large swathes of Iraq forcing Iraqi forces to desert some territories where the Kurdish Peshemrga replaced it.

After the declaration of victory over ISIS in 2017, and a referendum for independence by the Kurds in Kurdistan region and parts of the disputed territories in September 2017, the ISF took back control in Kirkuk and all the disputed territories in October 16th 2017.

Khudeda Chuky, mayor of Sinuny sub-district of Shingal autonomous administrative council, said following October 16th 2017, "over 60 projects have been suspended and the main loss was for ordinary people."

"The old administration now based in Duhok for security excuses do not allow implementing any project in Shingal and Ninewa administration listens to them," he added.

Shingal, located 120 west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, on the border of Iraq-Syria, is home to the Ezidi religious community considered infidels by the extremist militants of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS.

When the Iraqi Security Forces ISF took control over Shingal in October 2017, the tension between Baghdad and Erbil have blocked most of the vital projects needed to bring back life to the war torn region.

Back in 2014, when ISIS took over Shnigal and about one third of Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Ezidis left their region to Mount Shingal and Iraqi Kurdistan Region IKR.

The Ezidi community blame Iraqi and Kurdish forces for turning their back to them when barbaric militants of IS stormed their region and committed atrocities mounted to genocide lately recognized by European parliaments.

They found the pro-PKK forces as the only way to protect their community and restore safety and stability. They accuse the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP which was the senior Kurdish player in the region of collaboration with Turkey against pro-PKK groups.

Shingal Autonomous administrative Council is a local civil administration founded few years ago by the locals supporting groups affiliated to Kurdistan Workers Party PKK, fighting Turkey and holding Iraqi territories: Ezidkhan Asayish (security), Shingal Resistance Units YBSh and YPZh (Women Protection Units) based in Shingal Mountain. Ezidkhan Asayish (security) has about 1,000 fighters and is part of YBSh in charge of administration and security in the area.

In the Ezidi-dominant region of Shingal, only three thousand square kilometers, Baghdad federal and Erbil regional governments compete to establish their rule: three local administrations want to administer the district, and eight different armed forces are deployed.

The militant groups are Iran-backed PMF, YBSh and Ezidkhan Asayish which are pro-PKK, federal and local Police, Iraqi army and the Kurdistan Regional Government's KRG Peshmerga.


Ninewa, 2021- A site designated for a hospital by caravans has seen no concrete step in the last two years. Shingal mayor office media

In October 2020, the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG signed the Shingal Agreement aimed to reorganize the security and administrative dossiers in the district, under which local police, national security and intelligence run the security of the town, while the Iraqi army forces would be deployed in the suburbs.

The agreement was hailed by Baghdad, Erbil and Ankara as it leaves no excuse for any militia including the PKK and PMF to stay in town yet it has not been materialized up to day.

The impoverished community whom still half back home and the rest prefer life under tents in the camps of Duhok province in the adjacent Kurdish region; lead a severe life amid absence of basic public services.

"We are the victim of the parties and the two governments of Iraq and Kurdistan and pay for it," said Hasan Khalaf, a resident of Shingal. "How long Shingal stays in such a condition. Tens of meetings and negotiations turned useless."

The rebuilding of Sinuny downtown street and compound of state offices destructed in the war against ISIS have been halted.

Khalaf is back to his hometown five years ago yet still waits for proper water and power supply. "We as 150 families have decided to undertake the costs of power line. We used wood instead of steal poles and still no adequate drinking water."

We are the victim of the parties and the two governments of Iraq and Kurdistan

The war against IS left the province of Ninewa in general and the cities of Mosul and Shingal sunk in debris. Millions of tons of debris require billions of Dollars to collect and rebuild the devastated region.

Nayif Saydo, mayor of Sinuni which is in office of Duhok, as they are supported by KDP which is in odds with the PKK, denied that projects were suspended on purpose.

"Ninewa province addresses us. It is true we are in Duhok but the projects have not been stopped especially those for water supply, health and agriculture."

"We have even app;lied for further projects yet some of it has not been approved by the government."

Saydo said lack of budget by the Iraqi government has halted some projects in 2014 and 2019 due to protests "but in other years, annual budget was spent."


Ninewa, 2021- A fountain in Shingal was implemented by USAID and Nadia's Initiative, one of the active NGOs run by Nadia Murad, Nobel laureate, Yazidi activist and ISIS survivor. Photo exclusively for KirkukNow

 Ezidis are an ethno-religious minority over half a million population, mostly residing in Shingal, in northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, and Shekhan districts. The militants of Daesh extremist group in 2014 attacked their communities accusing them of being heretics, killing thousands of men and taking thousands of women and children as sex slaves, in an atrocity the U.N. described as genocide.

Fahad Hamid, acting mayor of Shingal who is in office following October 16th 2017, said "only 5% of the budget Iraqi government allocates for rebuilding Shingal for projects of state offices and schools is spent and the rest disappears," yet he provided no further details or proofs.

 "Only few streets were renovated in the last few years under Shingal and all other projects were funded by organizations" in reference to police office, fire fighting, national ID and Shingal terminal in addition to reconstruction of 10 schools.

"The government does not deal with us and Ninewa administration does not spend funds for projects except for the administration in Duhok. If we are not legitimate, all offices are government beside sectors of education and health so why they do not spend funds for those in favor of the public?"

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