AMUDE, Syria (North Press) - Societal and cultural figures from the city of Amude, northeastern Syria, invited the families of martyrs of the Amude Tragedy of 2013 and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to complete the reconciliation efforts.
The June 2013 shooting incident led to the killing of six civilians and a YPG fighter during a demonstration calling for the release of detainees from the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) in the city.
"These days, we need to make every effort for dialogue and rapprochement," said Sirwan Haj Berko, a journalist based in Germany and general manager of Amude-based ARTA FM.
Sirwan said that "The families of the martyrs are the primary stakeholders in the case, but there is another side to the case, as it is a matter of public opinion (...) Therefore, everyone has the right to strive together for possible solutions that guarantee most of their rights, and to postpone what cannot be achieved today until a later period in when institutions of the rule of law reside. "
Haj Berko described the YPG apology as "an important step, despite its delay."
Kurdish novelist Halim Yusuf said: "I feel the grief of the victims’ families, and it is a matter of respect and appreciation that the most affected party, the families of the martyrs, accept a reconciliation, away from the agendas of the political parties." He demanded all parties and personalities to contribute to paving the way for reconciliation and supporting societal stability.
Muhammad Shaikhmous, a member of the Civil Peace Council of the Kurdish National Council (ENKS, a coalition of Kurdish parties allied with the opposition Syrian National Council) in Syria, said that "these martyrs belong not only to their families, but to the entire Kurdish people, and we want these martyrs to obtain their rights, whether through recognition or an apology to their relatives. For the sake of reconciliation, the two parties must converge."
Shaikhmous added that the two parties are now required to look at the issue from a brotherly point of view and solve it.
Omar Kilo, an independent societal figure from Amude, said, "A mistake has occurred, and the mistakes of the past cannot be avoided today, so we must sit down and find a solution."
Kilo mentioned the incidents of civil strife that occurred in in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: “The Kurds killed many of each other, but today they share every detail of their lives.”
YPG spokesperson Nouri Mahmoud apologized to the families of the victims, by recording a video released by the YPG’s media center on the seventh anniversary of the incident.
A statement issued by the victims’ families at the end of last month described the recent initiatives as positive, referring to the initiative taken by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi, who commissioned a committee of the city's residents to mediate and communicate for a reconciliation between the families and the YPG.
But the statement signed in the name of Families of the Martyrs of Dignity called for the prosecution of military and political leaders who were in administrative positions at the time, although previous demands included making a public apology to the residents of Amude and the families of the victims, formal recognition of the responsibility for the incident, and a willingness to make material and moral compensation for families, have the victims are officially considered martyrs that have the same privileges as SDF martyrs.