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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 » Sun Sep 10, 2023 11:35 pm

Heritage still under threat

The UK government officially recognised the campaign by Islamic State (Isis) against the Yazidis as a genocide on 1 August, joining 18 other nations in acknowledging the attempted erasure of the small ethnic group

In August 2014 Isis massacred around 5,000 Yazidis, sold thousands of young women into sexual slavery, and displaced around 400,000, out of a total population of 550,000 to 700,000. Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled up Mount Sinjar, where they languished in the hot sun with no access to food or water, before Kurdish forces opened up a humanitarian corridor. The area was declared liberated at the end of 2015, and today 200,000 remain displaced.

“It’s like the genocide is still continuing,” says a Yazidi human rights activist in northern Iraq, who wished to remain anonymous. “Two thousand women are still in captivity, there are no job prospects, we have no political power. We are the property of political factions.”

Isis’s destruction of Yazidi shrines was a deliberate part of the genocidal campaign. While Isis typically demolished pre- or non-Islamic religious sites, this practice was especially debilitating for the Yazids. The Yazidi religion traditionally exists through the enactment of rituals and the verbal telling of stories at particular physical sites that are related to their deities.

“Ritual and social life in the community has always been strongly connected to the shrines and to other religious sites, such as sacred stones or trees, that compose for the Yazidis a sacred landscape,” says Marc Marin Webb, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who is working in the region. “The shrines concentrate the main yearly events for the community, such as feasts and pilgrimages, and provide a social cohesion as well as a religious identity.”

Following the liberation of Iraq, there was a huge effort to reconstruct the 68 shrines that were destroyed. In Bashiqa and Bahzani, two Yazidi towns north-east of Mosul, Yazidi villagers prioritised their rebuilding above that of their houses. The community-led effort lasted from 2016 to 2017 and restored around 24 shrines in the area.

Reconstruction efforts in Sinjar followed a similar pace with a higher international profile. Funds were donated by the Geneva-based heritage protection group Aliph and the World Monuments Fund towards the restoration of the 12th-century Mam Rashan Shrine and others. To date, across the Yazidi territory, most of the destroyed shrines have been rehabilitated, with some bearing new additions that commemorate the genocide.

But after this initial activity, the situation for the Yazidis plateaued.

“I was in Sinjar two weeks after the liberation, and I was there earlier this year,” says the British-Kurdish film-maker and photographer Yad Deen. “Not much has changed. Most of Sinjar is still in ruins. Nearly all houses are still left with no windows, doors or roofs.”

Most Yazidis remain in camps in Kurdistan, and either want to return to Sinjar or be given exit visas to emigrate. In the Yazidi territory, which lies across Iraqi Kurdistan and federal Iraq, corruption, nepotism and a lack of economic prospects are endemic. The Yazidis have been left out of the power-sharing agreement in Baghdad and have fallen through the cracks of political representation between Kurdistan and federal Iraq. Censorship silences discussion around these issues (no one The Art Newspaper spoke to felt safe enough to go on record).

Political tensions are also turning violent. A major incident recently occurred after Iraqi security forces brought back around 25 Sunni families to live in Sinjar. A Yazidi woman claimed to recognise one of them as a former member of Isis who raped her in 2014. A group of Yazidis then protested at the mosque in the village, alleging that they had not been properly consulted about the return. According to reports, they were then falsely accused of burning the mosque, prompting a backlash of hate speech on Kurdish social media that repeated harmful tropes about the ethnic group.

Unesco World Heritage Site hope

Deen and his collaborator Renas Babakir are currently holding an online fundraising sale of photographs that Deen took of Kocho, a Yazidi village that suffered badly in the genocide—most of the male inhabitants were massacred and its women and children abducted and enslaved. The proceeds will benefit Sinjar Academy, a US-based NGO operating in Sinjar that supports educational and humanitarian activities for Yazidis.

    I was in Sinjar two weeks after the liberation, and I was there earlier this year. Most… is still in ruins
    Yad Deen, photographer
Such international initiatives remain scarce as Yazidis fear they are being forgotten. Two years ago the Lalish Temple, the most important spiritual centre for the Yazidis, was entered onto the tentative list for Unesco World Heritage Sites, but few imagine that any organisation will have the political or financial capital to shepherd the application through.

Rashid International, a human rights charity, partnered with the US-based NGO Yazda and the UK-based Eamena project in 2018-19 to research the destroyed shrines, in order to provide information for cases that are being litigated in the UK, Germany and other European countries against former Isis members. They were able to investigate some of the shrines but could not document the remaining 44, as the security situation in Iraq was too unstable, and now the funding had dried up.

“The genocide declaration usually unlocks money,” says Seán Fobbe, the chief legal officer of Rashid. “But in the case of the Yazidis, the funding is not enough.”

• For more on the online fundraiser of photographs of Kocho, see sinjarhome.com

Link to Photos:

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2023/09 ... s-genocide
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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 » Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:56 am

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Yazidi heritage still under threat

In August 2014 Isis massacred around 5,000 Yazidis, sold thousands of young women into sexual slavery, and displaced around 400,000, out of a total population of 550,000 to 700,000

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled up Mount Sinjar, where they languished in the hot sun with no access to food or water, before Kurdish forces opened up a humanitarian corridor. The area was declared liberated at the end of 2015, and today 200,000 remain displaced.

“It’s like the genocide is still continuing,” says a Yazidi human rights activist in northern Iraq, who wished to remain anonymous. “Two thousand women are still in captivity, there are no job prospects, we have no political power. We are the property of political factions.”

Isis’s destruction of Yazidi shrines was a deliberate part of the genocidal campaign. While Isis typically demolished pre- or non-Islamic religious sites, this practice was especially debilitating for the Yazids. The Yazidi religion traditionally exists through the enactment of rituals and the verbal telling of stories at particular physical sites that are related to their deities.

“Ritual and social life in the community has always been strongly connected to the shrines and to other religious sites, such as sacred stones or trees, that compose for the Yazidis a sacred landscape,” says Marc Marin Webb, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who is working in the region. “The shrines concentrate the main yearly events for the community, such as feasts and pilgrimages, and provide a social cohesion as well as a religious identity.”

Following the liberation of Iraq, there was a huge effort to reconstruct the 68 shrines that were destroyed. In Bashiqa and Bahzani, two Yazidi towns north-east of Mosul, Yazidi villagers prioritised their rebuilding above that of their houses. The community-led effort lasted from 2016 to 2017 and restored around 24 shrines in the area. Reconstruction efforts in Sinjar followed a similar pace with a higher international profile.

Funds were donated by the Geneva-based heritage protection group Aliph and the World Monuments Fund towards the restoration of the 12th-century Mam Rashan Shrine and others. To date, across the Yazidi territory, most of the destroyed shrines have been rehabilitated, with some bearing new additions that commemorate the genocide.

But after this initial activity, the situation for the Yazidis plateaued

“I was in Sinjar two weeks after the liberation, and I was there earlier this year,” says the British-Kurdish film-maker and photographer Yad Deen. “Not much has changed. Most of Sinjar is still in ruins. Nearly all houses are still left with no windows, doors or roofs.”

Most Yazidis remain in camps in Kurdistan, and either want to return to Sinjar or be given exit visas to emigrate. In the Yazidi territory, which lies across Iraqi Kurdistan and federal Iraq, corruption, nepotism and a lack of economic prospects are endemic.

The Yazidis have been left out of the power-sharing agreement in Baghdad and have fallen through the cracks of political representation between Kurdistan and federal Iraq. Censorship silences discussion around these issues (no one The Art Newspaper spoke to felt safe enough to go on record).

    Political tensions are also turning violent. A major incident recently occurred after Iraqi security forces brought back around 25 Sunni families to live in Sinjar. A Yazidi woman claimed to recognise one of them as a former member of Isis who raped her in 2014
A group of Yazidis then protested at the mosque in the village, alleging that they had not been properly consulted about the return. According to reports, they were then falsely accused of burning the mosque, prompting a backlash of hate speech on Kurdish social media that repeated harmful tropes about the ethnic group.

Unesco World Heritage Site hope

Deen and his collaborator Renas Babakir are currently holding an online fundraising sale of photographs that Deen took of Kocho, a Yazidi village that suffered badly in the genocide—most of the male inhabitants were massacred and its women and children abducted and enslaved. The proceeds will benefit Sinjar Academy, a US-based NGO operating in Sinjar that supports educational and humanitarian activities for Yazidis.

I was in Sinjar two weeks after the liberation, and I was there earlier this year. Most… is still in ruins

Such international initiatives remain scarce as Yazidis fear they are being forgotten. Two years ago the Lalish Temple, the most important spiritual centre for the Yazidis, was entered onto the tentative list for Unesco World Heritage Sites, but few imagine that any organisation will have the political or financial capital to shepherd the application through.

Rashid International, a human rights charity, partnered with the US-based NGO Yazda and the UK-based Eamena project in 2018-19 to research the destroyed shrines, in order to provide information for cases that are being litigated in the UK, Germany and other European countries against former Isis members. They were able to investigate some of the shrines but could not document the remaining 44, as the security situation in Iraq was too unstable, and now the funding had dried up.

“The genocide declaration usually unlocks money,” says Seán Fobbe, the chief legal officer of Rashid. “But in the case of the Yazidis, the funding is not enough.”

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2023/09 ... s-genocide

• For more on the online fundraiser of photographs of Kocho, see sinjarhome.com
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 21, 2023 12:02 pm

Calls on US to help people return

Yazidi leader Mir Hazim Tahsin is in the United States seeking assistance from the White House and the United Nations for his community, thousands of whom have been displaced from their homes for nearly a decade

“We have held meetings with top officials from the Department of State and the White House. We talked about the condition of Yazidis in general and Shingal,” the Yazidi leader told Rudaw’s Sinan Tuncdemir in New York on Wednesday.

“They said that they are willing to help Yazidis after we said that our people should return [to Shingal]. We called on them to have great relations with Iraq, Kurdistan and Yazidis so that we can find a solution for our people who have been living in camps for nine years,” he added.

When the Islamic State (ISIS) captured Shingal in 2014, it committed genocide against the Yazidis, massacring men and older women, enslaving women and children, and destroying many villages and towns. Those who escaped the group were forced to flee to camps across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

    Shingal was liberated from the group in late 2015, but there is now a myriad of armed forces in the town with various allegiances, including the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga, pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic), and groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). They gained footholds in Shingal after ousting ISIS
Approximately 40 percent of Shingal residents have returned to their home, said local officials said last month, blaming political tensions for people's reluctance to return.

Mir Hazim said that he also met with UN officials in New York and they promised to continue helping Yazidis.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/world/15092023
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 28, 2023 7:19 pm

Another woman rescued from ISIS

Hüseyin Faidi, director of ISIS Rescue Office, reported that one more woman was rescued from ISIS mercenaries

A total of 3,574 people have been rescued so far. Faidi said that the attempts to save more women still in the hands of ISIS mercenaries continue, and added that he hoped that these attempts are successful so that he will be able to soon share information about those other women.

Faidi said in a statement to the press that a Yazidi woman named A.D., who had been in the hands of ISIS mercenaries for more than 9 years, was rescued.

He added that she was 23 years old and that she had been kidnapped from Shengal when she was 14 years old.

Without giving information about the region from which the Yazidi woman was rescued, Faidi continued: "There are 4-5 more women waiting to be rescued in the same region where that young Yazidi woman was rescued. When we liberate them, we will share their names and the region they were kept with the public."

Faidi said that the Iraqi government has not provided them with any help to save the women and added that they should collaborate to ensure that more women are liberated and reunited with their families.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 01, 2023 10:07 pm

German-Yezidi journalist
By Wladimir van Wilgenburg

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner awarded 12 people with the city’s Order of Merit on Sunday, including German-Yezidi journalist Düzen Tekkal, for their contributions to the city of Berlin

“It is a great honor that today I, along with 11 others, were awarded the Order of Merit of Berlin by the mayor Kai Wegner,” Tekkal posted on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter. “It means a lot to me that our civic engagement is seen.”

Also in 2021, Germany awarded Tekkal with the country’s highest honor, also called the Order of Merit, or Bundesverdienstkreuz, for her contributions to German society.

Tekkal was born in 1978 in Hannover, Germany, and has become a well-known German Yezidi journalist and human rights activist, as well as the current chair of the HAWAR Help organization.

A documentary she made, called “Hawar (Help): My Journey to Genocide,” grapples with the Yezidi genocide, in which thousands of people were brutally murdered, kidnapped, and trafficked at the hands of ISIS, beginning in Aug. 2014.

For the film, Tekkal was one of the first journalists to interview Yezidi survivor and Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad. As a result, she was invited to the appointment of Nadia Murad as the UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2016.

The organization also runs the Back To Life Women’s Empowerment Center in the Kurdistan Region. Since 2021, the center has offered displaced women a place to learn new skills and process traumatic experiences.

In March, German FM Annalena Baerbock visited the project in the Kurdistan Region.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... r-of-Merit
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 04, 2023 4:08 pm

BCF Assists Sinjar Schools

The Kurdish Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) on Wednesday announced the distribution of thousands of necessary schooling items to students in the district of Sinjar as the charity's aid campaign expands

The charity group said today that its aid distribution crews have so far given out necessary school items including backpacks and stationery materials to 3,013 students in the Yezidi hometown of Sinjar.

This school aid distribution is part of the charity group's plan to distribute at least 25,000 pieces of school items across the Kurdistan Region, including in the disputed Kurdish territories and Nineveh plains.

The Barzani Charity Foundation, based in the Kurdistan Region, holds a prominent role as a charity organization with significant local and regional impact. Its mission encompasses the provision of financial assistance to underprivileged families and delivering humanitarian aid to those affected by natural disasters and conflicts.

The charity organization has also shown commitment to aiding internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees by supplying essential items such as tents, household appliances, and medical supplies.

The foundation also places a strong focus on the field of education, which includes the renovation and refurbishment of existing schools and the construction of new educational facilities.

Additionally, the BCF actively participates in the construction of care homes and complexes tailored to cater to the needs of individuals with special needs.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/825729
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 06, 2023 10:56 pm

Senior PKK member killed in Sinjar

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) announced on Friday that its forces killed a senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) member in a drone operation in the Sinjar district of the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement the agency published

The PKK member was identified as Ilyas Biro Eli (nom de guerre Ciya Fekir). He was accused of assassinating security forces and civilians, as well as attacking the Bashiqa-Zilkan Turkish military base.

“We will continue to strike terrorist positions in Iraq or Syria," the statement read, while warning, “We will not compromise on our country's security.”

The attack in Sinjar follows an Ankara bomb attack on Oct. 1, which the PKK had claimed responsibility for.

This news comes as Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet al-Abbasi arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for high-level security talks regarding the PKK and Ankara’s continuing military operations in Iraq.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... -in-Sinjar

PKK should NOT be in Sinjar. PKK and all other armed militia groups must be removed from Yazidi lands
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 06, 2023 11:12 pm

Yazidis Jama feast

Kurdistan Region leaders on Friday congratulated Yazidis on the week-long Jama feast, reiterating their commitment to support the rights, demands, and aspirations of the religious minority

Every year, in early October Yazidis gather in the holy Lalish Temple to celebrate the Jama feast by participating in religious rituals and ceremonies.

President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani on Friday extended his congratulations to Yazidi people all around the world, reiterating his commitment to rescuing all missing Yazidis.

“On this occasion, we reassure all our Yezidi brothers and sisters that we will continue to support their rights and demands, that our work and efforts to rescue the Yezidis will continue,” said the president in a statement.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani also congratulated the Yazidi community on the celebration of Jama, stressing in a statement that “On this day, the Kurdistan Regional Government reaffirms its unwavering commitment to supporting the rights and aspirations of our Yezidi community.”

Yazidis were victims of a genocide perpetrated by Islamic State (ISIS) militants who attacked the Yazidi heartland of Shingal in 2014, killing men and boys and kidnapping women and children. Over 2,000 Yazidis remain missing, according to the Kurdistan Region Presidency's Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis.

The Shingal area remains unstable due to insecurity and lack of basic services.

Baghdad and Erbil signed an agreement in 2020 to return security to Shingal, but it has yet to be fully implemented.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani also congratulated the Yazidi community and underscored the Iraqi government's “unwavering commitment to upholding the rights and justice” for everyone in Iraq.

On Wednesday, Iraq’s Council of Ministers declared that from now on, every year, the week from October 6 to October 14 will be an official holiday for Yazidis in the country.

Every evening during the Jama feast, a ritual dance is performed by men dressed in white followed by a procession behind a sacred torch.

On the fifth night of the week-long festival, a bull is sacrificed. The meat is cooked and shared among the pilgrims.

The timing of the festival coincides with the arrival of autumn. Yazidis pray for good rains during the coming winter in order to have a bountiful harvest in the spring and summer.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/061020232
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 12, 2023 12:57 am

Sinjar is part of Kurdistan

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed on Wednesday said "Sinjar is an inseparable part of the Kurdistan Region.”

The minister’s remarks came during his speech at the Middle East Research Center (MERI) Forum in Erbil.

“Around 500 Peshmerga members were martyred in Sinjar's liberation,” he stated, and noted that “[KDP] President Masoud Barzani personally led Sinjar's liberation from ISIS.”

Ahmed then described a committee created to perform background checks for 1,500 Sinjar police recruits, which they have requested to be inclusive of females.

Regarding the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement, Ahmed said that the agreement is an achievement for Sinjar's people. However, the PKK has been a “headache” and is preventing both its implementation and the establishment of a legitimate police force.

    Ahmed further revealed that the PKK maintains about 40 strongholds in and around Sinjar, while warning the group “could be ousted from Sinjar forcefully.”
He also revealed that nearly 100,000-150,000 Yazidis have fled Iraq since the onset of the War on ISIS in 2014.

“Many Christians in the Nineveh Plains have left Iraq or moved to the Kurdistan Region,” the minister added.

The Sinjar Agreement was signed in Oct. 2020 between Erbil and Baghdad with support from the UN to normalize the situation in Sinjar and facilitate the return of thousands of Yazidis in displacement camps.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... r-Minister
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 12, 2023 7:04 pm

Militias in Sinjar Prevents Reconstruction

The Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has reaffirmed that the ongoing presence of militia groups in Sinjar is "preventing reconstruction" of the area

“Armed groups present in Sinjar, the PKK and the Hashd al-Shaabi and so on, need to withdraw,” Claudio Cordone told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday. He added that the presence of these paramilitary groups "prevents reconstruction."

The continued presence of these paramilitary groups in the Yazidi hometown of Sinjar is widely seen as a major obstacle for the implementation of the Sinjar Accord.

In 2020, the UN played a pivotal role in mediating the Sinjar Accord between Erbil and Baghdad, with the goal of restoring normalcy in the Yezidi homeland and facilitating the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes.

The enforcement of the agreement has faltered, and the ongoing presence of multiple militia groups, including Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi and umbrella groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has greatly impeded the Yazidis' return to their places of origin.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/826650
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:51 pm

Yazidi children face bullying

Yazidi children living with disabilities in Iraq face exclusion, bullying, loneliness and suicidal thoughts nine years after the Islamic State (ISIS) genocide, reveals a new report by Save the Children launched ahead of World Mental Health Day

Children as young as eight years old shared their experiences of loneliness and unhappiness, stemming from being confined indoors for extended periods.

Many reported challenges in being able to access basic services like schools and medical care, with some considering travelling as far as India and Turkey for treatment.

The report, involving conversations with 57 caregivers and 20 children, some with multiple forms of disabilities, asked participants to share their experiences through many ways like drawing pictures.

Amani*, a 13-year-old girl living with vision disability in Mount Sinjar, said:

    “I drew this picture because we went to an ophthalmologist in Mosul for an eye operation and my father did not have enough money for it. I drew the picture of a doctor because I dream of becoming a doctor when I grow up.”
Samira*, a 12-year-old girl living with physical disability, said:

    “I am unhappy when I cannot visit my friends and play with them, and I cannot go to school when the other kids go.”
Yazidis, an ethno-religious minority from the Kurdish region of Iraq, have been historically persecuted for their faith. The 2014 ISIS attack on Sinjar, recognized as genocide, had catastrophic impacts, particularly on children, who were forced to fight, convert, or were subjected to extreme violence and exploitation.

The impact on children’s mental health is immense, but rarely discussed. Caregivers in the study reported increased suicide risks among their children.

Farida*, the mother of a child with a disability, in Sinjar centre, said:

    “Children are currently threatening their parents with suicide. My child’s condition worsened when we were confined to the mountain and until now, he has not become like before.”
Malik*, the father of a child living with disability, Sinjar centre, said:

    “Sometimes they are thinking about suicide because they are not feeling mentally okay. Sometimes when he feels sick, he cries and says I will die.”
Save the Children calls for urgent action to strengthen disability-inclusive public services in Iraq. The lack of accessible community spaces, rampant bullying, and community stigma are major distress drivers among children with disabilities.

Izaat*, the guardian of a child living with disability in Mount Sinjar, said:

    “We call on humanitarian organisations to help people with disabilities, register their cases, and decide to help them according to their needs because government’s support for people with disabilities exists only in name.”
Humanitarian organisations and the global community must advocate for and support Yazidi children and their families, ensuring their inclusion, well-being, and access to essential services. The ongoing struggles and mental health crises faced by these children underscore the importance of sustained and inclusive support.

Operational in Iraq since 1991, Save the Children is among the largest international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) responding to multi-sectorial humanitarian, recovery, and development needs of children, youth, and their families – including Iraqis displaced by conflict, Syrian refugees, host communities and returnees. Save the Children is operational in six governorates across Federal Iraq (FI) and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

https://www.savethechildren.net/news/ya ... ide-report
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 19, 2023 12:20 am

Sinjar Agreement Implementation

Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani welcomed Serge Dickschen, the new Belgian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq, during a meeting in which they discussed the ongoing Sinjar Agreement

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) issued a statement outlining their talks, in which Prime Minister Barzani congratulated Ambassador Dickschen on his new role and expressed hope for a successful tenure.

Aside from broader regional developments, the meeting centered on resolving disputes between Erbil and Baghdad and enhancing trade ties between Belgium and the Kurdistan Region.

Both parties emphasized the crucial need for implementing the Sinjar Agreement and enabling the return of Yazidi refugees to their homes.

Belgium has previously expressed its support for cooperation between their government and the Kurdish authorities in Iraq. The Sinjar Agreement, brokered by the United Nations in October 2020, was designed to normalize the situation in Sinjar and facilitate the return of displaced families.

According to the agreement's terms, administration and security responsibility in Sinjar were handed to the federal government, specifically the Nineveh provincial government. However, the agreement has yet to be fully implemented, including the removal of "illegitimate" armed groups from the Yezidi-majority region.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/827382
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 19, 2023 12:41 am

New Yezidi Genocide Memorial
By Wladimir van Wilgenburg

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A new grand memorial site was opened on Wednesday in the presence of UN officials, Yezidi religious leaders, NGOs, Iraqi officials and representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The event was hosted by the International Organization for Migration in Iraq (IOM) and Nadia’s Initiative, a nonprofit organization founded by Yezidi Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad, who also spoke at the event.

“Immortalizing the lives lost to the genocide, the memorial offers a place for collective remembrance,” the IOM in Iraq said in a post on the social media platform X.

The IOM said the new memorial is located near the “Grave of Mothers,” where many older Yezidi women were killed by ISIS during the Yezidi genocide in 2014.

“ISIS kidnapped and sexually enslaved many Yazidi elder women in this site, making it a place of deep significance,” Yezidi activist Saad Murad wrote on the social media platform X.

The IOM said the monument was accomplished with support from USAID and Nadia’s Initiative.

    Delivered a speech on behalf of His Excellency @masrourbarzani at the Inauguration of the Yazidi Genocide Memorial Site.
    I emphasized the heinous nature of the offenses perpetrated against the Yazidi Kurds by ISIS. KRG advocated for Intl recognition of the Yazidi genocide. pic.twitter.com/j8uiWMLyxI
    — Dr. Dindar Zebari (@KRG_Coordinator) October 18, 2023
In the ceremony, Dr. Dindar Zebari, the KRG Coordinator for International Advocacy, who attended on behalf of Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Marrour Barzani, delivered a speech and highlighted the brutality of the crimes committed by ISIS against Yezidis.

He underlined that it is the “responsibility of the federal government [to] prosecute terrorists for international crimes and compensate victims and their families.”

Moreover, he said the KRG has taken several steps over the last few years to help the Yezidis, such as the establishment of a Ministerial Committee to recognize the crimes of ISIS as genocide at the international level.

Furthermore, he mentioned that the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament recognized the crimes as genocide.

He also said a committee was created to rescue missing Yezidi’s, and so far as of May 15, 3,562 people were rescued.

Moreover, he added that the Kurdistan Region had prepared a bill to establish a special court for ISIS crimes with the support of UNITAD.

“But the Federal Supreme Court rejected the bill and the issue remains unresolved, while international parties and relatives of the victims demanded justice for ISIS terrorists and compensation.”

“We emphasize that the (Oct. 2020) Sinjar agreement signed between the KRG and the federal government under the auspices of the UN should be implemented, because the best solution for peace, security, reconstruction of the region and the return of refugees is necessary.”

“It is up to the federal government and international organizations, especially UNAMI, to do their best (to implement the Sinjar agreement.”

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... -in-Sinjar
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 19, 2023 12:54 am

More Peshmerga in Shingal

Kurdish authorities to deploy more Peshmerga fighters to the Yazidi heartland of Shingal, said a Peshmerga commander on Tuesday, adding that they will also be equipped with more weapons

Qassim Shasho, commander of Peshmerga forces in Shingal district, told Rudaw’s Nasir Ali on Tuesday that they met with Masoud Barzani, President of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), in Erbil the previous day.

“We asked for our Peshmerga command in Shingal to be formalised,” he said, adding that Barzani asked his advisors to “write down these things and try to make it a formal force, and increase their number to 3,000 Peshmerga.”

He stated that they currently have 2,000 Peshmerga fighters in Shingal.

The members of his command will receive a $300 monthly allowance from the Kurdish government until Erbil and Baghdad reach an agreement about the Kurdistan Region’s federal share. Shasho said they will receive more weapons as well.

    There is a myriad of armed forces in Shingal with various allegiances, including the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga, pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic), and groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). They gained footholds in Shingal after ousting the Islamic State (ISIS)
Erbil and Baghdad in 2020 signed an agreement over the governance and security of Shingal in order to “normalize” and resolve a number of issues that have prevented the return of the area’s inhabitants who fled ISIS war.

The agreement includes the withdrawal of all armed groups from the city

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/17102023
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 19, 2023 9:08 pm

PKK denied students school

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliated militant factions inside the Yezidi-majority town of Sinjar have been denying access to over 1,000 students to study at a Japanese-funded school, the Asian country’s envoy told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday

The Zarifa Oso School was built through Japanese funding last year and was ready to receive students, Ambassador Futoshi Matsumoto said.

“More than 1,000 students in Sinjar cannot use this school because of some groups that call themselves YBS [PKK-affiliated Sinjar Resistance Units]… I do not know PKK. They use this school [now],” the top diplomat in the country said, adding he was not aware for what purpose the education establishment is being used currently.

“No access to more than 1,000 students” after a year of its construction, he said, describing the inaccessibility as “a problem” for the Yezidi students.

The school was funded by the “Japanese taxpayers” and should be returned to students, wishing the occupation to end, he added.

The IVY Japan, a non-governmental organization, implemented the Sinjar school project.

“The school, which we supported, should be used by students, our beneficiaries,” Saito Takashi, the NGO’s country representative, told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday.

The diplomat’s remarks to Kurdistan 24 came after the inauguration ceremony of a new Japanese-funded school in Erbil province for Iraqi internally displaced students on Thursday.

Al-Olaa school is an 18-class facility that has taken into consideration all the fire safety measures as well as provides a healthy learning environment for the vulnerable students who used to study in a “very bad environment,” Shilan Sher, the program manager assistant for IVY Japan – the implementing partner – told Kurdistan 24.

Erbil and Baghdad in September 2020 struck a deal to normalize the administrative and security situations in Sinjar. Per the agreement, all the armed groups, including the PKK, should leave the area and hand the security dossier to the local Yezidis.

The UN, the UK, and the US have expressed support for the implementation of the agreement.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/32 ... nese-envoy
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