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Kurds Protests Exclusion from Constitutional Committee in Qamishli, Syria

Kurds Protests Exclusion from Constitutional Committee in Qamishli, Syria

Thursday, 3 October, 2019 - 06:15
Protests in front of UN headquarters in Qamishli, north Syria (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Thousands of Kurdish demonstrators have descended on United Nations offices in Syria’s northern Qamishli city in protest against the Syrian Democratic Council and Rojava not being excluded from the war-torn country’s constitutional committee, which will be holding its first session on October 30.

Protestors raised banners demanding the right for the Kurdish majority bodies to partake in reforming Syria’s constitution. One sign read: “A constitution we don’t participate in drafting does not matter to us.”

"It's our right to participate in the drafting of the constitution," read another sign.

Kilistan, 50, and who had lost her son in battles against ISIS partook in the protests.

“We are here to tell the United Nations and its envoy why you have excluded the Kurds of Syria from the formation, we demand to involve us in writing the future of our country, this step is unfair to the right of two and a half million Kurds,” kilistan told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The UN on September 23 announced the long-awaited formation of the committee to include 150 members, split evenly between Syria's government, the opposition and Syrian civil society.

Individual Kurdish representatives linked to the Syrian opposition or civil society groups are part of the constitutional committee. But the Kurdish administration in northeast Syria that controls nearly 30 percent of the country has said its exclusion was "unjust".

Talaat Younes, a Kurdish administration official, stressed the need to include "all components of Syrian society".

Around him, men and women carried portraits of Kurdish fighters who had died battling the ISIS group in Syria.

Syria's Kurds led the US-backed fight against ISIS in northern and eastern Syria, expelling the terrorist group from their last major redoubt in the country in March.

"Our military force has achieved significant success. We must have representatives on this committee," said Hashem Shawish, one of the protesters.

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