News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/DERİK) The KDP, the ruling party in South Kurdistan, has removed the the flag of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) from the Sêmalka border crossing with Rojava and raised its party’s flag in its place.
KDP officials have also dismantled the bridge across the Tigris River which had connected Rojava with the KRG, according to a report from ANHA and carried by ANF. The KDP had been limiting access to the Sêmalka (Peşabir) border crossing since May of last year.
In another piece carried by ANF it is reported that at least one Kurdish youth from Rojava was injured earlier today when Peşmerge units attached to the KDP opened fire on protesters near the village of Sihela in the district of Derik. Protesters were angry about the construction of a new border ditch which the KDP began last week.
The protests had been organized by the revolutionary youth (Ciwanên Şoreşger) and had attracted hundreds who came from as far away as Derik and Qamişlo. KDP Peşmerge pointed heavy machine-guns at the protesters before opening fire, while the protesters responded with rocks. After the KDP opened fire local women intervened to ease tensions and the protesters moved on to Girê Sor. The condition of the wounded youth remains uncertain.
The protesters had been called to voice opposition to the KDP’s recent decision to dig a deep trench along the border between Rojava and the KRG, as well as to denounce the mistreatment of Rojava refugees in the KRG.
Refugees living in camps in the KRG have complained of harsh, prison-like conditions in which basic necessities are lacking and violence – including sexual violence directed against women – from local KDP officials and their allies against camp residents is commonplace. A report from February claimed that women from the camps were being sold to local elites as well as wealthy Arabs from Iraq and the Gulf.
Just last week it was reported that a coalition of the largest opposition political parties in the KRG – including the YNK, the Goran movement, and Yekgirtu İslami – joined with the Kurdish National Congress (KNK) in likewise denouncing the KDP’s policies toward Rojava and demanding the border-crossing at Sêmalka be opened and that the KRG recognize the Autonomous Canton Governments of Rojava.
A delegation of 31 women sent by a number of parties such as the YNK and Yekgirtu Islami to investigate conditions in Rojava were denied permission to cross at Sêmalka on March 23 by KDP officials.