News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(What follows is an English translation of “Rojava’da İkinci Aşama” which originally appeared in Yeni Özgür Politika)
Rojava has moved on to the second phase of its project of Temporary Administration. The Constitutive Assembly, meeting for the second time, has decided to establish the regions of Efrîn, Kobanê and Cizîrê as three autonomous regions. Aldar Xelîl, a member of the Kurdish High Council, indicated that this decision was taken as a result of Rojava’s current conditions, and highlighted that this was just an initial step in the formative of Rojava’s Administration. Xelîl said “On the subject of its formation we are insistent. No matter what the circumstances we will accomplish this. We will do it out of the need to keep the promise we made to our people.”
The Rojava Constitutive Assembly of the Temporary Administration, met for a second time yesterday in Qamişlo following its first meeting on November 12. In the meeting, which was closed to the press, the majority of the 58 members of the Constitutive Assembly were in attendance.
In a statement following the meeting the following decisions were announced:
*The name of the Temporary Administration will be “Democracy Autonomous Administration”
* Temporary Administration will be established in the cantons of Efrîn, Kobanê and Cizîrê within the framework of three autonomous regions. If the former administrative project was connected to a common parliament for all three regions, taking current conditions in the region into account, each of the three regions will be administered as a separate autonomous region and each region will establish its own autonomous administration.
*The Temporary Administration General Council’s name has been changed to the “Legislative and Monitoring Committee.” It will be responsible for implementing statutes and decisions.
*The name of the 19-person Temporary Administration Project Monitoring Committee that was formed in the first meeting has been changed to the “Temporary Administration Preparation and Monitoring Committee.” The committee will direct work within the framework of this project and will also participate in decisions taken by the council. Within the, framework of its work it will also have the authority to convene the council.
Aldar Xelîl, a member of the Kurdish High Council who took part in the meeting held yesterday by the Rojava Constitutive Assembly of Temporary Administration, answered our journalist’s questions concerning the results of the meeting and the decisions that were taken. Xelîl stated that there had been certain suggestions in accordance with the needs and as a result of the work of the Constitutive Council that was formed to implement the project of Temporary Administration, and said that the latest meeting was held within this framework. Xelîl also stated that one of the suggestions was that Rojava be administered as three autonomous regions, and evaluated the decision thus: “In the assumption of our earlier project it was decided that Efrîn, Kobanê and Cizîrê would be administered jointly. However the committee is of the opinion that current conditions do not permit joint administration. For that reason it was suggested that every region should develop its own administrative framework in the direction of self-administration. And according to this “the Cizîrê Democratic Autonomous Administration, the Efrîn Democratic Autonomous Administration, and the Kobanê Democratic Autonomous Administration were established as three autonomous regions.” While stating that such a decision was taken now because of the conditions of war in Rojava and to geographic realities which made it impossible to provide for a connection between the regions, Xelîl also affirmed that this was only an initial step toward a Rojava Administration.
General Administration for a Later Period
Aldar Xelîl stated that there were difficulties in forming a general, common administration and that for this reason a debate about general or common administration should be left for a later phase when it could be reassessed and taken up again. Xelîl said however that prior to this each of the three regions in Rojava need to form their own administration as a first step. Xelîl said, “After the formation of the regions’ autonomous administrations there will certainly be dialog and relations between the cantons and this does not mean that they will be completely disconnected. The form of relations between the autonomous regions and the subject of administration will be debated and decisions about this will be made. After regional administrations have been formed there will be a move toward a common administration.” Xelîl claimed that the workings of Democratic Autonomy will be taken as a basis. Xelîl also passed on the suggestion that this administrative model could be implemented in Syria’s other regions. He also stressed that the current name of Rojava Administration could continue or another option might be found.
What changed in the Constitutive Assembly?
Xelîl explained the change in what is done in the Constitutive Assembly on the basis of the suggestions for the reliable management of the administrative project, saying “the Legislative and Monitoring Committee will function in the shape of a legislative parliament in the period ahead of us. The Project Preparation Committee will oversee its own discussions and form other committees on the basis of its own needs. It is situation connected to the internal workings of this committee.”
Support is increasing
Xelîl stated that support for the project of administration was increasing every day. Xelîl emphasised that they had taken as their foundation their meetings with all segments of society, saying “after the meetings we saw a positive approach in some segments. In some segments which kept their distance or approached hesitantly there emerged demands for persuasion or participation. Right now the level reached appears positive, and we hope that in the work and meetings that will take place in the days before us we will continue to progress together.”
We want ENKS participation
On the subject of ENKS approach to the work around administration Xelîl said that it had not yet adopted a clear position, and said that members of ENKS will gather at a meeting to be held on December 5th to decide on participation in the Rojava Temporary Administration and in the Geneva talks. Xelîl said “We hope that the actions of members of ENKS will be to pursue the national interests of the Kurdish people in Geneva and participation in the work of administration. This is a necessity for democracy and will also be the best decision for Rojava. In the event that the opposite attitude is exhibited the obstruction of the work for a Rojava administration is still out of the question. The general demands around this subject on which Kurds and other ethnic communities are together are viewed as important and we take this into consideration. We are now in a situation that has provided for this. In general both on the subject of the administration of Rojava and participation in Geneva the framework that we have presented as the Kurdish High Council has received widespread support.”
It will happen before Geneva-2
“Everyone needs to consider and to accept the legitimate right of the Kurds” Xelîl said. He also affirmed that in the same way that there were debates before the proclamation of the Rojava Administration there will discussions over objectives before the Geneva 2 conference, and that no matter what the approach of other powers either to these objectives or to the participation of Kurds this will not be obstructed. Xelîl went on to affirm that work would continue uninterrupted and added “in developing this current administrative project our efforts to form an administrative model as an example for Syria will continue. In the period before us will will continue our work under all circumstances. On the subject of its formation we are insistent. Our work can be step by step and phase by phase, it may experience delays however no matter what the circumstances we will accomplish this. We will do it out of the need to keep the promise we made to our people. We will take as a foundation the self-sacrifice of our people and the resistance of the YPG forces.”