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Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:05 am

Turkey continuing Yazidi genocide

Turkey has been accused of trying to continue the Yazidi genocide in northern Iraq after targeting the Sengal area with drone strikes on the pretext of operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

Ankara has launched a number of bombing raids against what it insists are “terrorists” as part of Operation Claw Eagle, which began in June.

It has struck the Yazidi settlement area in Sengal, part of Iraqi Kurdistan, twice this week with no casualties reported, but causing damage to land and infrastructure.

The Sengal Resistance Units (YBS) warned that “the Turkish state has a new concept” to continue the massacre of Yazidis perpetrated by Isis in 2014.

More than 5,000 men and boys were killed by the jihadists and around 7,000 women and girls were abducted and sold into sexual slavery, 3,000 of whom are still missing.

The YBS accused the Turkish state and intelligence services of co-ordinating the attacks with “collaborators,” including the leader of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nerchivan Barzani.

He has recently referred to Sengal as an unofficial and illegal territory while allowing officials from Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) to operate from bases throughout Iraqi Kurdistan, despite having no official status.

YBS officials called on people to “stop taking the side of the collaborators” describing the MIT as the historical enemy of the people.

“The attacks on YBS must be understood as an attack on Yazidism,” a statement said.

“The fascist Turkish state has committed dozens of massacres of our people.

“It wants to destroy our people and our faith. Nobody should forget this,” officials said, vowing to continue their resistance.

The YBS accused the Turkish state of seeking a demographic change similar to that of Afrin in northern Syria where 300,000 Kurds were forced from their homes.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article ... kes-sengal
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:46 am

Yezidi woman reunited with family

Samo Omer, 28, is a Yezidi from the village of Tal Qasab, south of Shingal. She was held by ISIS militants for a total of five years, both in Iraq and in Syria

"I was previously in the city of Hama. I went to Idlib with their [ISIS] families. I stayed in Idlib for seven months. After that, I was sold to [someone in] Iraq, then I was taken to Manbij [in northern Syria]. Later I was taken to camps on the Iraq-Turkey border, from where I was sold to [someone in] Iraq. Someone from Idlib took me, and he treated me well," Samo told Rudaw. "Later, I came [with smugglers] to Manbij, and to Qamishli."

ISIS published a picture of Samo and her two children in the Syrian city of Idlib, saying that they were for sale

Samo’s brother Khalaf, who had been in desperate search of her, saw the picture, and bought her for $30,000.

To begin her journey back to her family, Samo was taken by smugglers from Idlib in 2019 – but not before one of her two children died in an airstrike on the city.

After a month travelling through Syria with the smugglers, Samo and her surviving child met her brother in the city of Qamishli.

"I can't explain the hardships we faced [to rescue her]," Khalaf said. When I received a message that read 'your sister is with me', we were made so happy by the news. All of a sudden, they switched their phones off for 10-15 days, and we had no news about her. We were down until they next picked up the phone. We'd make phone calls around the lock.

Samo and her surviving child were then reunited with the rest of her family, including her husband, at Kabarto IDP camp, Duhok. Samo has since had another child.

ISIS attacked the Yezidi heartland of Shingal in August 2014, abducting 6,417 Yezidis. Six years on, 2,887 Yezidis are still missing, according to figures from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/31082020
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:53 pm

2,880 Yezidis still missing

Out of 6,417 Yezidis kidnapped by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014, 2,880 remain missing, according to new data from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) office responsible for rescuing abducted Yezidis

According to a statement released on Wednesday by the Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yezidis, 6,417 Yezidis were kidnapped when ISIS attacked Shingal in the summer of 2014, including 3,548 females and 2,869 males.

“Of this, 3,537 - 1,201 women, 339 men, 1,043 young girls and 954 young boys have been rescued,” it read.

The 2,880 missing includes 1,304 females and 1,576 males.

The same data puts the number of those killed in the first day of the ISIS attack at 1,293, adding that the attack has internally displaced some 310,000 Yezidis and forced more than 100,000 to flee Iraq. Additionally, 2,745 children have been orphaned.

The ethnoreligious minority lived mainly in the district of Shingal in Nineveh before it was attacked by ISIS on August 3, 2014, in what has been recognised by many states as a genocide. Many Yezidi men and elderly people were killed, and young women and girls sold into sexual slavery.

The plight of the Yezidis was brought to renewed attention in 2018 when survivor Nadia Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

“These statistics are approved by the United Nations and do not include material losses in property, land, livestock, agricultural, cars, factories… etc,” read the statement.

Shingal currently lacks security due to the presence of several armed groups, hindering the return of its people who mostly live in camps or houses in Duhok province. Much of it still lies in ruins, five years after liberation.

Nineveh Governor Najm al-Jabouri told Iraqi state media outlet INA on Wednesday that thousands of Yezidis have returned to Shingal so far, but “a large number” still live in Duhok province.

He added that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and military officials have agreed in the last few days “to facilitate the return of displaced Yezidis.”

“They agreed on some points, including specifying a limited budget for those families who return and to provide services.”

Yazda, a Yezidi organisation, said late Wednesday that the Iraqi government has opened a Shingal office for the return of those affected by the ISIS attack.

“We value the efforts of the government for stabilizing Sinjar (Shingal), and we hope that the government will accelerate the process of returning IDPs to their homes, and compensate the survivors and victims of the genocide,” said the organisation.

French President Emmanuel Macron said during his joint press conference with Kadhimi in Baghdad on Wednesday that “we will do our best to help you especially in Shingal, helping the Yezidis."

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/020920202
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:39 pm

Two Yazidi children accompanied Barzani

The president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani, met for over an hour with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara today to brief him, among other things, on French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit this week to Baghdad

Falah Mustafa, a senior Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) official who took part in the talks, told Al-Monitor they were “really good.” He did not elaborate

Barzani returned from Ankara with two Yazidi children, a girl aged 10, and a boy 11, who had been kidnapped by the Islamic State six years ago in Yazidi dominated Sinjar province in northern Iraq. Sadly, their parents, three brothers, and sister are still missing.

Several women enslaved by the Islamic State have been tracked down and rescued in Turkey, as recently as last month. The KRG thanked Turkey in statement for helping rescue the children but it did not say how they had ended up there.

Barzani is known to have spent vast sums of his own money to buy back the freedom of multiple Yazidi women and children. According to Yazidi Nobel prize laureate Nadia Murad, there are still around 2,000 Yazidi women and children in captivity.

Barzani met with Macron in Baghdad on Wednesday. He also met with Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The former intelligence chief is deeply unhappy about Turkey’s continued airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants inside Iraqi territory.

Those strikes killed two high ranking Iraqi officers on the Turkish-Iraqi border last month. He has been lobbying Arab nations for support for what the Iraqi foreign ministry called “a united position to force Turkey to pull out its troops who have infiltrated into Iraq."

The strikes have also claimed multiple civilian lives provoking widespread anger among Iraqi Kurds. This in turn has elevated pressure on Iraqi Kurdish leaders to prevent the Turkish attacks, which they say they are powerless to do.

Kadhimi raised the issue during talks with President Donald Trump in Washington on Aug. 20 and also with Macron, sources familiar with the substance of those exchanges told Al-Monitor.

Macron is the first head of state to visit Iraq since Kadhimi formed a new government in May. Prior to the visit, Macron said he was heading to Baghdad “to launch an initiative alongside the United Nations to support a process of sovereignty.” The message was directed as much at Iran and the United States as it was at Turkey, which has several thousand troops inside northern Iraq scattered across over a dozen bases.

Abbas Kadhim, director of the Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington, lamented the rising tensions between Iraq and Turkey, saying they have important mutual interests. “The best way to handle the disputes among them is by negotiation with the understanding that, if they don’t go far, Iraq would go to the UN Security Council and other international entities,” he told Al-Monitor.

“All this can be done without disturbing the economic relations. If that fails, then the economic leverage should be used as a last resort,” Kadhim added. Iraq is Turkey’s fourth largest market for exports. Baghdad holds another critical card. Its demanding around $25 billion in compensation from Ankara in an international arbitration court for allowing the Iraqi Kurds to export their oil independently of Iraq’s central government via a purpose built pipeline running from oil fields in Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The court is likely to rule in Baghdad’s favor. The tribunal has delayed its decision because Iraq asked it to do so in response to Ankara’s request for time.

It’s unclear whether Barzani’s trip to Ankara was preplanned. Sources in Barzani’s entourage were adamant that it was scheduled in advance, part of an effort “to clear the air” between the sides.

“Internally divided and still unrecovered from the 2017 independence referendum, the KRG strives for relevance,” contended Bilal Wahab, a Wagner fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “A risk that concerns KRG leaders is being sidelined by a possible deal between Ankara and Baghdad over borders, oil and the PKK."

“Yet, the KRG can play a significant role in helping both sides. This is manifest in Sinjar, which has become a new Kirkuk in terms of complexity. The KRG has also sought relevance by actively engaging coordination among Syrian Kurds,” Wahab told Al-Monitor in emailed comments.

Wahab was alluding to the oil rich province which the Kurds lost to Iraqi forces following their ill-fated referendum, and which the Kurds say rightfully belongs to them.

Barzani’s visit to Ankara, said Ramzy Mardini, an associate at the University of Chicago's Pearson Institute, which studies conflict resolution, “was likely prompted by Macron’s visit to Baghdad."

“Given the competition between France and Turkey over Libya and the eastern Mediterranean, it would only be incumbent on Erdogan to try to balance out Macron’s warming relations with Iraq’s elites, while also gleaning on what the French president is up to with his neighbor," he said.

Mardini continued, “It’s hard to see how Erdogan doesn’t interpret Macron’s use of his sovereignty initiative against foreign interference in Iraq as a way of undermining Turkish foreign policy. Macron’s successful trip to Baghdad comes weeks after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was denied a scheduled visit given Turkey’s ongoing military operations in northern Iraq, and in recent years the French president’s relations with the Kurds have warmed, with exchanges in delegations and visits in Paris and Erbil.”

“Given its stronger relationship with Baghdad, France is in a unique position to play an external mediating role between the KRG and the Kadhimi government that Turkey is in no position to fulfill. This gives the Kurds an important outside relationship other than Ankara that they need maintained and strengthened, especially now given their current economic woes.

France, not Turkey, helped mediate to break the deadlock between the governments in Erbil and Baghdad that followed the Kurdistan referendum for independence. I suspect the visit of France’s president, especially during the current dire circumstances for Iraq, is only likely to enhance France’s mediating role and influence,” Mardini concluded.

Macron has emerged in recent months as Erdogan’s biggest bugbear. The French president has pushed back against Turkey’s muscle-flexing in the eastern Mediterranean, sending warships in support of Greece. France and Turkey have also butted heads over Libya. Turkey accuses France of backing the eastern warlord Khalifa Hifter.

Cavusoglu, who held a breakfast meeting with Barzani today, said “In Libya they (France) supported the putschist Haftar and made a grave mistake. Things changed, balances shifted, Hifter was defeated and Macron became hysterical."

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... ldren.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:04 pm

Estranged Yazidi family
wins custody battle


A Yazidi woman, Hadiya Hussein, won a three-year-long legal battle for the custody of her two estranged siblings in a Turkish court, news website Duvar reported on Friday

Hussein had lost trace of her siblings after an Islamic State (ISIS) member Turkmen family smuggled the children, now aged 9 and 11, into Turkey following the attack by the jihadist group on Iraq’s Yazidi heartland of Sinjar in 2014.

The family attempted to register the children as their own, but the children were taken into state custody and placed in a foster home after a Turkish social worker alerted authorities.

Hussein had been abducted by ISIS during the 2014 attack, and was freed when in 2017 her family tracked her down in a dark web auction and paid off her captors. After she tracked down her siblings, a Turkish court demanded that she prove her parents’ death in order to return custody.

As the parents were possibly buried in a mass grave, the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIS (UNITAD) got involved with the case.

The story drew international attention, with journalist Hale Gönültaş receiving a journalism prize over her coverage. Hussein’s years-long efforts had been an international diplomatic problem for Ankara, Duvar said, and another chapter began for Hussein when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was informed and took action to resolve the situation.

Erdoğan personally handed over the two children to Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani following their meeting in Ankara on Friday.

The children were taken back to Iraqi Kurdistan, and were reunited with their sister in Erbil.

https://ahvalnews.com/yazidis/estranged ... tle-turkey
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:12 pm

Families of killed Yezidis to get $8,320

The Iraqi government will provide families of Yezidis killed by the Islamic State (ISIS) with a 10 million dinar ($8,320) support grant upon their return to Shingal

Announcement of the grant came from Tariq al-Mandalawi, head of the government martyrs' foundation's Department of Victims of Terrorism and Military Operations, to the Iraqi state-run al-Sabaah newspaper on Sunday.

“The department will grant an amount of 10 million dinars to the families of the martyrs [Yezidis] after they complete their arrangements at government institutions for their return,” Mandalawi said.

The Yezidi ethnoreligious minority lived mainly in the Nineveh district of Shingal before it was attacked by ISIS in August 2014, in what has been recognised by many states as genocide. Many Yezidi men and elderly people were killed, and young women and girls sold into sexual slavery.

Mandalawi said his department has put the number of Yezidis killed or still missing since 2014 at over 7,000. According to figures released on Wednesday by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yezidis, 6,417 members of the ethnoreligious community were kidnapped by ISIS; 2,880 remain missing.

Much of Shingal still lies in ruins, five years its liberation. Several security forces and militias are vying for control of Shingal, further hindering the return of Yezidis to the area.

Governor of Nineveh Najm al-Jabouri told Iraqi state media outlet INA on Wednesday that "thousands of Yezidi families" have returned to Shingal so far, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and military officials have agreed in the last few days “to facilitate the return of displaced Yezidis,” most of whom live in camps or houses in Duhok province.

The return home of Yezidis was discussed in a meeting on Monday between Iraqi president Barham Salih and displacement and migration minister Ivan Fayaq.

The two officials reviewed work led by Fayaq to "encourage the displaced to return" and "rebuild the liberated areas," according to a statement from her ministry.

Salih "affirmed his support" for ending displacement and providing a "safe and stable life" for Yezidis and other displaced persons, the statement added.

Mandalawi said his department recently opened an office in the Nineveh province town of Sheikhan which will “compensate them [Yezidi families] as part of the process of returning families to their hometown,” he said.

The Iraqi government has also opened an office in Shingal to aid returnees, Yezidi non-profit organisation Yazda said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We value the efforts of the government for stabilizing Sinjar (Shingal), and we hope that the government will accelerate the process of returning IDPs to their homes, and compensate the survivors and victims of the genocide,” the organisation said in response to the opening.

French president Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed international support for the Yezidis during his visit to Baghdad last week.

“We will do our best to help you especially in Shingal, helping the Yezidis," Macron said during his joint press conference with Kadhimi.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/070920201
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:19 pm

Anticipation and apprehension for Yazidis

In three weeks, 900 internally displaced families have left Sardasht camp to return to their homes elsewhere in Shingal, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement

Yezidi IDPs have been living in camps like Sardasht since 2014, when the Islamic State (ISIS) ravaged the Yezidi heartland of Shingal.

While some camp residents like Sardasht camp mukhtar Khalid Ali are ready to return, others don't want to go back to housing inadequate for even the most basic of their needs.

"My house is built with clay bricks and the roof is leaking water," Khalid Ali, an IDP from Shingal said. "It has no door or windows.

How can I go back to a house that leaks?"

The Iraqi government and its Ministry of Migration and Displacement have decided that all IDPs at Sardasht camp, where 2,300 families once lived, are to return to their homes by the end of the year.

Local officials have said that more needs to be done to make Shingal a livable environment.

"We should do something for these people. There should be a committee to investigate the need [to reconstruct] houses which have been blown up," Shingal mayor Fahd Hamid said. "The Ministry of Migration and Displacement have to have mercy on these families for them to return to their hometowns and villages."

An office for the affairs of Shingal's displaced was opened by the Minister for Migration and Displacement and the Governor of Mosul on Wednesday. They have decided to give families returning to their homes in Shingal 1.5 million Iraqi dinars ($1,200).

In the last two weeks, three high-ranking Iraqi delegations have visited Shingal, with the aim of reconstructing the area and returning IDPs to their homes.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/10092020

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:47 am

Yazidis still suffering

Call for intervention in the humanitarian crisis taking place as thousands of Yazidi leave refugee camps to return to Sinjar

While the world is preoccupied with the Covid-19 pandemic, a desperate struggle to survive is taking place in Northern Iraq/Kurdistan. Today the Women Refugees Advocacy Project, with the support of other organizations, issued an Open Letter to the Canadian Parliament calling for action on behalf of the Yazidi.

Hundreds of thousands of Yazidi people, displaced into refugee camps in Iraq as they ran for their lives to escape the genocidal attack against them by ISIS in 2014, are now returning to a shattered homeland in Sinjar. “The Yazidi communities are being pushed to return to Sinjar without any help or support from the local governments and without any kind of international protection,” says Rev. Majed El Shafie of One Free World International, recently returned from a visit to the region. “They don't even have the basic support of life.”

Nadia Murad, Nobel laureate and Yazidi survivor, told us, “About half the Yazidi community remains displaced in camps, while some 120,000 people have returned home to Sinjar, many living without water, healthcare or electricity.”

Sinjar is a land shattered by ISIS: bombed out buildings, the infrastructure destroyed. They are experiencing oppressive Covid-19 policies and procedures which interfere with the already deeply inadequate medical care. The Yazidi women and girl survivors of ISIS enslavement are suffering ongoing severe trauma from torture. On top of this, ISIS planted hundreds of thousands of landmines as they retreated from Sinjar during the war.

Lloyd Axworthy, Chair of the World Refugee & Migration Council, has stated, “I urge the Canadian government to explore every potential diplomatic and political strategy to protect and aid the Yazidi refugees as they return to Sinjar. Action must be taken quickly.”

On August 27, a medical doctor in Sinjar spoke to the Women Refugees Advocacy Project: “It is not good here in Sinjar. The water here is bad; you have to buy drinking water. People who cannot afford to buy water are drinking from the wells and are suffering gastro-intestinal diseases. Electricity is a big problem; you have to have a generator.

The one hospital here has only 20-beds, with no operating theatre and staff. Mental health problems are a disaster among the Yazidi, who now have the highest suicide rate in the world. There are some Yazidi who are trying to clean up and rebuild their destroyed homes but it is dangerous because of all the landmines. And Turkey has bombed Mount Sinjar 100 times in the last few months. We appeal to any government or organization for help.”

Senator Mobina Jaffer reflected, “There are so many issues to attend to in the world, and among the most forgotten people are the Yazidi. We are holding the press conference to raise awareness to the plight of the Yazidi, especially the women and girls. We can no longer ignore them, it’s time to act.”

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-rele ... injar.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:11 pm

US working to support extremely
terrorized Yezidi women


Kelley Eckels Currie, the US Secretary of State's Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues spoke to Rudaw's Hevidar Zana last week

When asked by Zana what support the US administration is offering Yezidi and Kurdish women, Currie said:

"Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria as well as the rise of ISIS we've seen that women and girls have been extremely terrorized and have been the most severe victims of the crisis that has cut across Iraq and Syria, both in the terms of the refugees that have flown out of Syria and Iraq as well as those who are still in those countries suffering from abuses from extremist groups and then the challenges even after the extremist groups have been defeated, the challenges don't go away for these women."

"We've worked with Yezidi House, and we've worked with a number of other groups that specifically assist the Yezidi women and girls and the communities as a whole. Because the trauma affects the whole communities. And in order to help women and girls get able to return to these communities and we integrated into them that you have to address the border concerns of the community. So, we have been doing a lot of that through our assistance programs as well as through our diplomacy. And we've found the Kurdistan Regional Government to be a very good partner in this regard."

https://www.rudaw.net/english/interview/15092020
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:42 pm

No Turkish airstrike
near Yezidi holy shrine


Yezidi officials dismissed claims that Turkey bombed a vehicle near the holy shrine of Sheikh Sharaf al-Din in Shingal late Sunday, instead claiming it was an attempt to prevent Yezidis from returning to their homes

"In our view, this was a clear message to us at a time when our people are about to return to their areas and the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments want to return stability to Shingal.

Unfortunately, there could be groups whose interests do not match with having security in our region and they appear to spare no efforts to disrupt the stability," Haider Shasho, head of the Ezidkhan Protction Force, told Rudaw on Sunday night.

Shasho did not name any groups, saying they will wait to see the results of investigations to discover the perpetrators.

The Sheikh Sharaf al-Din shrine, located on the northern side of Mount Shingal is a symbol of resistance for Yezidis. The site was defended by the minority each time it was attacked, and it never fell to the Islamic State (ISIS) following the terrorist group’s takeover of the town.

According to Iraq's top security sources, a Turkish drone strike hit a vehicle just one kilometer from the holy Yezidi shrine, killing three Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters. Shasho dismissed this claim.

"What the Iraqi government has published claiming a Turkish bombing is untrue. Only one [person] was in the car, and it burned then subsequently exploded, [so it] was not bombed,"

He said that ISIS was not behind the explosion, either.

"This vehicle has been brought to this region. We cannot say that Daesh or any other group associated with Daesh has brought the car to here. It has not been the case," Shasho said, adding "if a Daesh member approaches here, he will blow himself up, not stop and detonate a vehicle far from people," the Yezidi official added, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

He reiterated what happened was a "message to disrupt the security of the Sharafadin, because it has been the safest place in the region."

"But our people remain vigilant. They will foil such plots and do not let such seditions prevail in Shingal. Our people will continue to return to their areas," he added.

"No one is killed or wounded," Khudeda Chuke, mayor of Snune said of the explosion.

Chuke described the act as "cowardly," also saying it was not conducted by ISIS.

The Shingal Protection Units (YBS) echoed the sentiment that "some parties" try to discourage Yezidis from returning home and lead them to believe that "there is no security in Shingal".

The head of the Ezidkhan force Shasho says the Iraqi government should carry the responsibility of the protection of Shingal.

"Because tens of unplanted and dark-windowed vehicles commute into Shingal and Sinune in front of the eyes of the police and army of Iraq who do not stop or question them at the checkpoints," he said.

"It is expected other explosions may happen in the future and result in casualties only to disrupt the security of this region," he warned.

"Therefore, if the Iraqi government does not carry its responsibility, we will seriously ponder taking matters into our hands to protect our people," Shasho vowed.

ISIS attacked the Yezidi heartland of Shingal, in Nineveh province, on August 3, 2014, killing and enslaving members of the ethnoreligious group.

Hundreds of thousands of Yezidis sought refuge on nearby Mount Shingal.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/210920202
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:10 pm

BBC’s documentary on the
Iraq War overlooks genocide


Iraqi Yazidi refugees in Newroz camp in Al-Hassakah province, north eastern Syria after fleeing Islamic State militants

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The BBC’s recent documentary 'Once upon a Time in Iraq' is wonderfully made. The interviewees are edgy and articulate and the weaving of personal testimony with fascinating footage is provoking and engaging. However, with the end of the fifth episode entitled ‘Legacy’ and of the series, I was left stunned that a major part of the story was entirely airbrushed out of the sleek narrative.

If the purpose of the documentary was to reveal the arc of the consequences of the 2003 invasion, it missed a crucial point. In August 2020, just weeks after the final episode was aired, Yazidis and Christians marked six years since the genocide that has left hundreds of thousands displaced. If the documentary was trying to point to the legacy of the Iraq war, surely the decimation of certain Iraqi communities should have been at least mentioned.

It is not only Iraqis from religious and ethnic minorities who have been affected by brutal violence and displacement, as the documentary shows. However, for these small communities, the legacy of 2003 is the possible end of their presence in their ancestral lands.

According to an article published recently by the Chaldean Church - the largest church in Iraq - Daesh forcibly displaced 120,000 Christians from their homes in Mosul and the Nineveh Plains in just one night in August 2014. To date, only 40% of these people has returned home, while the rest either remain displaced within Iraq, mainly in the Kurdish region, or have emigrated.

The Christians of Iraq are descended from the ancient civilisations that occupied the area of Mesopotamia for millennia and were among the first to embrace Christianity. Although there are no accurate statistics, it is estimated that in 2003 the Christian population of Iraq was around 1.5 million. Today it is thought that less than 250,000 remain.

In terms of legacy, the impact on the collective consciousness of the Yazidis (Ezidis) is worrying. They speak of having experienced over 70 genocides throughout their history. Yazidis have a unique belief system and culture that they fear might be lost. Many of their traditions have historically been passed down orally so with the fragmentation of the community into the diaspora many of those I have interviewed in my research fear the total loss of their heritage.

As of August 2020, 2887 Yazidis were still missing and it is feared that many women and children are still being held captive. Hundreds of thousands remain in Internally Displaced People camps in Northern Iraq living under squalid conditions.

    If the purpose of the documentary was to give voice to the ordinary people of Iraq, it has written out part of the population and thereby rendered their story still more invisible
Northern Iraq is the traditional home to much of Iraq’s diversity and has long been a disputed area. After the First World War, Kurds aspired to a state in the area, as did Assyrian Christians, and both were denied. The border between Iraq and Turkey was disputed until in 1926 it was eventually decided following the recommendation of a League of Nation commission that Mosul should belong to the new Iraqi state rather than Turkey.

This is all part of the context and a thread that should have been visible in the narrative of the BBC documentary. Iraqi friends have expressed their anger and disbelief to me at the omission. The incredible images of Yazidis stranded on top of Mount Sinjar like trapped animals; the campaign, bravely articulated by Nadia Murad, to recognise this as a genocide; the daubing of the Arabic letter “Nun” for “Nazarene” on the homes of Christians, all appeared to have been forgotten.

In fact, those who have remained in Iraq complain of neglect from the central government and have been caught in the crossfire of the Turkish military attacks on Northern Iraq, as well as the squabbles between the Kurdish Regional Government and the Central Iraqi Government in Baghdad.

If the purpose of the documentary was to give voice to the ordinary people of Iraq, it has written out part of the population and thereby rendered their story still more invisible. It was also a missed opportunity to remind the international community about the ongoing suffering of IDPs and missing people, as well as the diversity of Iraqi society beyond a ‘Sunni-Shia’ divide.

In contrast to this documentary, Iraqis have not all forgotten the genocide. They realise that their ‘happily ever after’ can only come through an unflinching determination to include and celebrate Iraq’s diversity among the stories of ordinary Iraqi people. Activists and community leaders are part of a movement to recognise diversity as positive for Iraq. One such initiative is the creation of the Institute for the Study of Religious Diversity and its launch of curricula designed to challenge stereotypes by educating Iraqis about the different religious traditions that are part of Iraqi society.

The social and political challenges are immense, but the first step is acknowledging them. To leave out what happened to Iraq’s non-Muslim population from the narrative of the consequences of the 2003 invasion is a disservice and damaging.

This story, of course, doesn’t end here

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/north- ... -genocide/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:17 pm

Will a new Iraqi law atone
for the Yazidi genocide?


The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have brutal histories of genocide. The Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia should never happen again. Those words seem to get lost in a miasma of amnesia

It should never happen again, and yet it always does. A recent nationwide survey published in September in the United States found that 25 per cent of millennials and members of Generation Z didn’t know that the Holocaust was real.

The atrocities fade from our memories, but not from those of the victims whose worlds have been transformed. The Yazidis, a small, ancient minority from northern Iraq, burst into global consciousness when Isis stormed their rural communities in August 2014, and we learned that the men had been massacred and the women abducted and held as sex slaves.

In an attempt to redress the genocidal campaign, the government of Iraq is preparing to introduce the Yazidi Female Survivor’s Bill for those abducted by “the Da’esh terrorist gangs after 10/6/2014 and released after this date”. The Yazidi organisation Yazda were strongly in favour of the bill, saying in a statement: “This is the most significant piece of legislation ever with respect to the Yazidis in Iraq to be discussed within the framework for Iraq.”

The ground-breaking bill will offer victims psychological and medical care. They will receive housing, land, compensation and education. There will be livelihood measures for Yazidi women, as well as commemoration and memorialisation activities, including a National Day on August 3rd to remember the tragedy that unfolded in their homeland of Sinjar.

However, when Isis established its short-lived caliphate, the death cult didn’t just target Yazidi women. Other victims included Christians, Shia Turkmen, Shabaks, Kakais, and Shia Arab women who were abducted, raped, enslaved, and tortured. Islamic State threw gay men from rooftops and murdered men, typically family breadwinners, a tactic of war to ensure that communities would stay poor, powerless and voiceless.

Over the last two decades, Christian communities in Iraq have witnessed almost complete destruction as the population has shrunk by 80 per cent, from 1.4 million to less than 250,000. For millennia, they shared the diverse Ninevah Plaine, where the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar is located, with other Iraqis. For thousands of years, Iraq was also once home to a large thriving Jewish community. There are very few left now.

“The focus on Yazidis is good,” says Jela Keyany, a lawyer with the Yazidi Legal Network, “as they haven’t been able to tell their stories for centuries. However, other marginalised groups who fell victim to Isis also need to be included and represented, for example, the Christians. The persecution of Christians is still a non-discussed topic,” and many groups have lost confidence in their future in Iraq.

“And while reparation law can help stop the bleeding, it doesn’t heal,” continues Keyany. For most Yazidis, no matter where they are in the world, the most critical issue is to find the 3,000 missing women and children. There is no international support, and the genocide is on-going.

The bill concentrates on sexual slavery but does not cover other forms of conflict-related sexual violence. Recently, the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council decided not to accept children born of rape, after a backlash from the community, which means that women often have to choose between returning home or staying with their Muslim children. Once a Muslim, you cannot convert back. The Iraqi government has done nothing to change this.

One consequence of ignoring the other victims is that this could cause divisions between survivors. According to Güley Bor, an international lawyer who helped draft the bill, this “may re-victimise those who are excluded and lead to intra-community tensions. It will also present a poor record of events.”

Reparation programmes should go hand in hand with criminal justice. Isis members in non-EU countries are convicted as terrorists, not perpetrators of international war crimes, as it is easier to get convictions and the evidence threshold is lower than for charges of genocide. “This,” says Keyany, “ makes the story of victims irrelevant”.

The draft bill is important because it recognises the harm victims have suffered and contributes to truth and justice. It is also and is an attempt to rebuild trust across the communities.

https://www.thearticle.com/will-a-new-i ... i-genocide
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:07 am

Nadia Murad denounces
sexual violence as a war tactic


“We have the ability to provide resources to communities destroyed by violence, Ms. Murad, who also serves as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, said. “We simply lack collective political will to do so.”

Speaking during an online event titled #EndSGBV, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, Norway and Somalia on the margins of General Assembly general debate, Ms. Murad – jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel peace prize with Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war - took stock of progress over the last year.

“We must critically look at what we did well, where we can be really proud because we have made a true difference”, she said, “but also, be honest and transparent on where we missed opportunities to stop gender-based violence and truly be there for victims.”
Survivor-centred approach

She described the launch of the Global Survivors Fund as “a major achievement”, along with the Murad Code, a protocol she launched with the United Kingdom for those collecting information from survivors on conflict-related sexual violence.

In a post-conflict region like Iraq, she said survivors must play an active role in the peacebuilding process. “Survivors know best what they need to heal and recover.” Efforts to engage them at every level of their recovery will empower them.
Threat to Yazidis ‘virtually unchanged’

Perhaps nowhere is the international unwillingness to engage more stark, than in the experience of the Yazidis, she said, most of whom live in northern Iraq and who in 2014 became victims of genocide by ISIL/Da’esh terrorists, in the group’s pernicious campaign to wipe out non-Islamic influence.

Stressing that their situation remains “virtually unchanged,” she said it pains her greatly that once again she must convey to the world the seriousness of their plight. Hundreds of thousands of Yazidis are internally displaced in camps, where conditions are dangerous – especially in light of COVID-19.

Their destroyed homeland of Sinjar, lacks critical infrastructure to support their needs. It is ignored, lacking any dedicated effort to build a stable local government and security force committed to equal protection for all citizens. Thus, Yazidis cannot return safely.
2,800 women, children still held by ISIL

[File photo: View of the Kabarto refugee camp, now home to many of the Yazidi forced to flee the city of Sinjar, over-run by ISIS, in August 2014]

File photo: View of the Kabarto refugee camp, now home to many of the Yazidi forced to flee the city of Sinjar, over-run by ISIS, in August 2014, by Reza / Webistan

Most importantly, she said thousands of Yazidis still face sexual violence daily at the hands of ISIL/Da’esh, with more than 2,800 women and children still missing and in captivity. They have been subjected to sexual violence and slavery for over six years.

“It is incredibly disheartening to understand no collective search and rescue efforts have been made by the Iraqi Government or the United Nations to find these women and children”, she said. “Make no mistake, the global community has abandoned over 2,800 human beings.”
‘Moral imperative’

To be sure, it is the responsibility of Iraq, the United Nations and the international community to take immediate steps to rescue these women and children, she said. “Anything less is unacceptable.” Yazidi families cannot rebuild their lives without knowing the fate of their loved ones. “Let us be clear: It is a moral imperative to respond to the vast needs of fellow human beings”.

She called for a collaborative grass roots approach, with international organizations, the United Nations and Governments working closely with local non-governmental groups to develop contextually specific approaches. Development can only be sustained if local communities are part of every decision that impacts them. “It is vital that we listen to the communities we serve,” she assured.
Call to rebuild Sinjar

Drawing attention to Nadia’s Initiative, which seeks to empower Yazidis to rebuild their lives and advocates for investments that will provide survivors of sexual and gender-based violence with comprehensive support, she said non-governmental organizations cannot rebuild post-conflict communities on their own.

In Iraq, she pressed the Government to rebuild Sinjar, provide survivors with reparations and stabilize local governments. While investigations have begun, evidence has been collected and survivors have recorded their testimonies, justice has yet to be served.

It is up to Iraq and the international community to try ISIL/Da’esh perpetrators for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, she stressed. Yazidis and other communities destroyed by violence deserve international support.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1074092
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:40 pm

Yazidis to protect Homeland

Many representatives of the Yazidi community in Armenia have volunteered for departing to Artsakh to protect the borders of the Homeland, President of the National Union of Yazidis in Armenia Aziz Tamoyan said

“Yazidis are always ready to protect their Homeland”, Tamoyan said.

Commenting on the situation around Nagorno Karabakh caused by the Azerbaijani military aggression, Tamoyan said he condemns the Azerbaijani actions. “What is taking place in the line of contact is inhuman action, and I strongly condemn it. The Azerbaijani side carries out a very aggressive policy which is supported by Turkey”, he said.

On September 27 early morning the Azerbaijani military has launched a massive cross-border artillery attack on Artsakh, including on civilian settlements. Peaceful settlements are also under bombardment, including the capital city of Stepanakert.

59 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded in Artsakh from the Azerbaijani attack.

Armenia and Artsakh declared a martial law and mobilization.

According to the latest data, the Azerbaijani side has suffered nearly 200 human losses as a result of its aggression. The Artsakh side has destroyed a total of 4 Azerbaijani attacking helicopters, 27 UAVs, 36 tanks, armored vehicle, as well as 2 engineering armored vehicles and 11 armored equipment.

https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1029245/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:36 pm

Survivors of sexual violence
need healing and justice


Nearly 1,000 delegates convened at a virtual United Nations event yesterday to urge action to end sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian settings

Sexual and gender-based violence affects one in three women and girls globally. In some humanitarian settings, this figure is estimated to be two in three. The consequences are devastating for individuals, families and communities alike, costing the world an estimated 2 per cent of its annual GPD.

Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace laureate, is seen on a computer monitor addressing delegates in the virtual event on sexual and gender-based violence.

The high-level event was convened by the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Norway and Somalia, in coordination with UNFPA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross, in order to follow up on progress made since the “EndSGBV” conference held in Oslo in May 2019.

At that 2019 conference, a variety of commitments were mobilized to help end sexual and gender-based violence in crisis settings. Some 86 per cent of the financial pledges from Oslo have been disbursed, delegates heard yesterday.

“But we cannot allow ourselves to rest on the laurels of our accomplishments,” said Nadia Murad, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and President and Chairwoman of Nadia's Initiative.

“Collectively, we must identify our failures and work collaboratively to create solutions. Only then can we turn our failures into achievements. One of the biggest failures is our unwillingness to provide adequate resources to communities in peril.”

Healing and justice

Ms. Murad is a member of the Yazidi community, which was brutalized by the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or Daesh). After the northern Sinjar District of Iraq was taken by the militants in 2014, Yazidi women were subjected to horrifying violence, including sexual slavery.

Though ISIL no longer controls Sinjar, “thousands of Yazidis still face sexual violence every day at the hands of ISIS,” Ms. Murad said. “Over 2,800 Yazidi women and children are still missing and in captivity.”

She called on delegates at the event to seek justice: “Victims deserve justice. Investigations have begun. Evidence has been collected, and survivors have recorded their testimonies. But justice has yet to be served.”

UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem spoke to these points in her own remarks: “Part of healing is addressing impunity and the political blindness that does not react when women are damaged and in danger.”

Dr. Kanem also called for more services to respond to the needs of survivors. “The psychosocial consequences need to be taken seriously,” she said. “We need to invest in… social work and legal counselling for women and girls affected by this issue. I hope that case management will be scaled up.”

Help on the ground

In Iraq, UNFPA is supporting such services for survivors of gender-based violence, including for members of the Yazidi community.

“Each day would last a year. We would die every minute. Not every hour but every minute,” Yasmin* told UNFPA. Yasmin, a Yazidi, was abducted by ISIL and sold seven times, experiencing horrific violence each time.

After her ordeal, she received services from the Women and Girls’ Treatment and Support Centre in Dohuk, Iraq, where UNFPA supports medical, psychological and legal assistance for survivors.

“The first case we received was a survivor of the most atrocious forms of sexual and physical violence,” said Qalavej Jafaar, a therapist at the centre. By 2019, the centre had received more 1,300 cases.

UNFPA recently finished building an extension at the centre to assist even more survivors. Today, the centre is supported by the European Regional Development and Protection Programme and the governments of Australia, Canada and Luxembourg.

The care survivors receive is specialized to address the traumas they have endured. “I have been attending the centre for treatment for two years,” Yasmin said. “I have learned from the doctor that I am dignified and I have to keep my head up.”

COVID-19 complicates response

But recent events have complicated the ability of humanitarian actors to prevent and address gender-based violence, speakers at the high-level event yesterday highlighted.

“We have all had to adapt,” she added.

In Iraq, for instance, UNFPA has created a remote case management system to help women receive treatment even under lockdown.

Still, Dr. Kanem said, “stronger collective action is urgently needed to protect the rights of women and girls.”

The world must also start listening to survivors, delegates at the event emphasized.

“Survivors know best what they need to heal and recover,” Ms. Murad said. “Efforts to engage survivors at every level of their recovery will empower them."

https://www.unfpa.org/news/survivors-se ... ers-assert
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