[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 formal establishment of the Autonomous Provisional Government of Ezidikhan to represent and 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 Ezidikhan nation by 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 Governing Council meeting after years of planning.
The new government led by Prime Minister Waheed Mandoo Hammo includes two Deputy Prime Ministers, the Foreign Minister, the Interior Minister, the Finance Minister and the Minister of Human Rights as his initial cabinet of ministers.
Introducing his new autonomous government, Prime Minister Waheed Mandoo Hammo declared:
“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 except the innocent will be spared.”
Stating further his convictions the Prime Minister said, “We shall rebuild our country and obtain the return of thousands of Yezidis who had to flee the violence.”
Prime Minister Hammo is a member of a very distinguished Yezidi family. His grandfather Hammo Shiro, who was a Pasha (the highest official title of honor in the Ottoman Empire) of the Yezidis in the late 1800 to early 1900s, is said to have saved the lives of more than twenty thousand Armenians in Yezidi territory in the Shingal by providing them with safe refuge in an act of defiance toward marauding Turks and Kurds during the Armenian genocide from 1915 to 1917.
The Yezidi community is moving toward full autonomy with the blessings of the Supreme Leadership Council. The community has also supported enabling government guidelines in which the Ezidikhan Council attached plans for protecting Yezidi and other indigenous cultures. Education, human rights, protection of sacred sites, reconstruction and organizing the return of refugee and immigrated Yezidis are among the goals given foremost priority.
Ezidikhan council members have shown an earnest desire to work in accord with international norms with the United Nations to uphold the fundamental human rights of all citizens of Ezidikhan without regard to race, gender, caste, or religion. The council aims to conduct free and open elections within two years and thus form a permanent Ezidikhan government. Elections will be open to all citizens irrespective of caste or gender.
Every city and town will be administered by a local council under local assemblies, which are formed by general election through popular vote. Establishment of democratic institutions will be the highest priority of the council.
The Ezidikhan government is actively working to provide improved healthcare and education to all its citizens. The entire Yezidi population is at risk now due to constant outside induced violence and is in need of urgent healthcare. The Yezidi numbering more than 600,000 have for years been forced to live in camps for internally displaced people with no clean drinking water facilities and pathetic living conditions.
The Yezidis have been persecuted for generations. They were denied education by the Ottoman government in the past and the Iraqi government in the present. The new government plans to bring a fundamental change to these conditions. Under persecution, living under Sharia law, Yezidis have been denied fundamental human rights in utter violation of international agreements.
A new era has dawned for the Yezidi nation with the formation of the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan.