[LALISH, Nineveh, Iraq. August 24, 2017] – The Provisional Government of Ezidikhan has issued the following statement from the office of Prime Minister Waheed Mandoo Hammo.
The Supreme Leadership Council headed by the Baba Sheikh, Kurto Hajji Ismail recently proclaimed the creation of an autonomous Provisional Government of Ezidikhan to defend Yezidi sovereignty, culture, and religion and to protect the religion and culture of indigenous tribes in Ezidikhan.
On July 25th 2017, the Supreme Leadership Council declared Ezidikhan as a historic step to reclaim their sovereignty. The persecuted Yezidi people took this decision in the face of repeated genocides and the possibility of more to follow.
“The ancient Yezidi nation is distinct from Kurds in both faith and civilization. Out of the compulsion to protect Yezidi culture and civilization we present our rights as an ancient, indigenous people of northern Iraq to establish the formation of this Provisional Government of Ezidikhan.-Prime Minister Waheed Mandoo Hammo
The Ezidikhan nation in declaring the formation of an autonomous government and governing Council, appointed the first Ezidikhan government cabinet and gave approval to a legal and constitutional framework to govern Ezidikhan. The announcement was made during Ezidikhan’s council meeting after years of planning.
The new government will be led by Prime Minister Waheed Mandoo Hammo together with his cabinet of ministers.
Prime Minister Hammo hails from a highly distinguished Yezidi family. His grandfather Hammo Shiro was the Pasha (the highest official title of honour in the Ottoman Empire) of the Yezidis in the late 1800 to early 1900s. He is believed to have saved the lives of more than 20,000 Armenians in Shingal by providing them with safe refuge in an act of defiance toward marauding Kurds and Turks during the Armenian genocide from 1915 to 1917.
The Yezidi community started the process towards autonomy with the blessings of the Supreme Leadership Council and passing of a government guideline in which Ezidikhan council attached their plans for protecting Yezidi, and other indigenous cultures. Education, human rights, and protection of sacred sites have been given foremost priority.
Ezidikhan council members have shown an earnest desire to work together with the United Nations to uphold the fundamental human rights of all citizens of Ezidikhan irrespective of race, gender, caste, or religion. The council aims to conduct free and open elections within two years. Elections will be open to all citizens irrespective of caste or gender.
Every city and town will be administered by a local council under by local assemblies which be formed by general election through democratic means. Establishment of democratic institutions will be the topmost priority of the council.
The council will work to strengthen and provide healthcare and education to all citizens. Presently the entire Yezidi population has urgent healthcare needs to cater to a large population who have for years been forced to live in camps for internally displaced people with no clean drinking water facilities and pathetic living conditions. Being persecuted for many generations, Yezidis have been denied education systematically.
The council plans to bring a fundamental change to these conditions. Under persecution, living under Sharia law, Yezidis have been denied their fundamental human rights. The council sees restoring these rights as fundamental to the existence of Ezidikhan.
Prime Minister Waheed Mandoo Hammo made the following statement while introducing the autonomous government.
“The ancient Yezidi nation is distinct from Kurds in both faith and civilization. Out of the compulsion to protect Yezidi culture and civilization we present our rights as an ancient, indigenous people of northern Iraq to establish the formation of this Provisional Government of Ezidikhan. This council of the nation of Ezidikhan vows that a fair investigation to bring to justice all those who committed acts of genocide against our brothers, sisters and mothers will be carried out and none will be spared.”