The Iraqi government Friday announced that Baghdad had reached a “historic deal” with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over the governance and security of Sinjar, according to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s spokesperson.
Ahmed Mulla Talal said in a Twitter statement that Kadhimi had “sponsored a historic agreement which will bolster the federal authority in Sinjar as per the constitution in terms of governance and security.”
The deal “ends the authority of intruding groups and paves the way for the reconstruction of the city and the full return of its people in coordination with the Kurdistan Regional Government,” he added.
The KRG has previously called the presence of groups such as the PKK terrorist organization in Sinjar unacceptable and has urged the militants to leave the area.
Sinjar falls within an area disputed between the central government in Baghdad and the KRG, based in Irbil, according to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution.
The announcement came following a meeting between representatives from both parties.
"It's a good agreement, and we had a good meeting with the Iraqi prime minister in the presence of parties from the U.N. and Iraq," KRG Interior Minister Reber Ahmed told KRG-based news outlet Rudaw, adding that the agreement would help displaced families return to their homes.
The PKK terrorist group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in mid-2014 on the pretext that it was protecting the local Yazidi community from Daesh.
Since then, the PKK has reportedly established a new base in the area for its logistical and command-and-control activities.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) welcomed the deal later Friday, saying it marked a first step in the right direction and expressed hope that it would pave the way for a better future.
The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said the agreement would bring about “a new chapter for Sinjar, one in which the interests of the people of Sinjar come first.”
She also said that it would “help displaced people to return to their homes, accelerate reconstruction and improve public service delivery.
“Against all odds and in their darkest hour, the people of Sinjar remained determined to build a better future. May that future begin today,” Hennis-Plasschaert said.
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