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PM Barzani pledges continued support for Yezidis on genocide anniversary

By Rudaw 3/8/2018
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region- The ISIS massacre of the Yezidi community was one of the most barbaric genocides of the 21st century, said KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on the fourth anniversary of the tragic day on Friday, while calling on Baghdad and the international community to help rebuild Shingal and other areas to enable its habitants to return home.

"Today is the anniversary of another genocide committed against the Yezidis by the Daesh terrorist organization,” Barzani said. “This genocide entered the history of the people of Kurdistan and humanity as one of the most barbaric genocides of the 21st century.”

On August 3, 2014 ISIS militants invaded the Yezidi city of Shingal and its surrounding villages. They killed hundreds of men, women and children and took thousands of others captive where they were later sold as sex slaves and servants.

"The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue fulfilling its duty of protecting all Yezidis and further assist the IDPs of Shingal, and our special bureau will continue working to rescue the kidnapped individuals," Barzani added.


According to Khairi Bozani, the Yezidi representative in KRG's Ministry of Religious Affairs, 1,193 individuals were massacred on the first day of the ISIS attack alone.


To this day, 1,102 Yezidis, mostly women and young girls are still missing.

Prime Minister Barzani urged Iraq and the international community to recognize the massacre of Yezidis as genocide.

"These and many other figures and evidence are enough for the Iraqi parliament, government, and international community to recognize the Yezidi genocide through a special decision," Barzani added.


During and since the end of the ISIS war 69 mass graves have been found.

Barzani called on the Iraqi government to play its part in rebuilding the destroyed city of Shingal.


"On this sad day we find it necessary that the Iraqi federal government start normalizing the situation in Shingal and undertake its duty of rebuilding the area and provide services so that the IDPs are easily able to return to their ancestral homeland," Barzani said.


Masoud Barzani, the former president of the Kurdistan Region, later called Yezidis "an inseparable part of the Kurdish society" on the fourth anniversary of the massacre. He was commander of the Peshmerga during the events of August 2014.

The acting leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan echoed that "the anniversary of our Yezidi sisters and brothers is one of the saddest days of our nation."

"The evidence and survivors are enough to recognize the atrocity towards Yezidis as genocide and compensate them. We should do our one local and international level for the recognition of the atrocity of ISIS terrorists towards the Yezidis as genocide," Kosrat Rasul told party media.

He called on Baghdad and Erbil to act together to avoid such a "catastrophe."

"We understand that terrorists will target any national and ethnic groups and are against tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Thus, we all have this responsibility to fight fundamentalist and extremist mentalities, and promote peaceful coexistence and tolerance among individuals," added Rasul.

Last updated at 11:46 p.m.

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