Yezidis move towards closure as UN team starts exhuming mass graves
Yezidi survivors, officials from the Iraqi federal government and Kurdistan Regional Government gathered in Kocho village on Friday to begin unearthing suspected mass graves created by ISIS more than four years ago.
“On this day, at this place, four years and seven months ago, the battered and bruised heart of humanity was broken once again," said Karim Khan
He is leading the UNITAD investigatory team in Iraq.
"And you, members of the Yezidi community, have displayed amazing patience, real courage, real steadfastness, and in my view, nobility in refusing to succumb to the evil that you encountered
Saab Khidir, a Yezidi quota MP in the Iraqi parliament, said at the ceremony that they won’t accept being used in proxy rivalries.
He argued Shingal suffers from a lack administration, displacement and a lack of security. The administration has to be chosen that respects the wounded in Shingal, added Khidir.
Berivan Hamdi, the director general in the KRG Ministry of Anfal and Martyr’s Affairs, called for rebuilding, security and stability, help from international experts and backing for the development of local capability to unearth the graves, and opening a research center to investigate this crime.
Shingal, located in Nineveh province, is a disputed area claimed by Erbil and Baghdad. Since the federal takeover in September 2017, it has been under the control of federal forces.
Photos by Mahdi Faraj