Kurdistan Region to continue efforts to solve Yazidis’ issues: president

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani (R) meets U.N. goodwill ambassador Nadia Murad in Erbil, February 3, 2021. (KRP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — President Nechirvan Barzani said on Wednesday that the Kurdistan Region would continue its efforts to solve the issues of Yazidis in Sinjar district. 

Barzani met with Nadia Murad, a Yazidi activist and the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations, in Erbil.

President Barzani expressed the Kurdistan Region’s readiness to support “any effort and project that serve the Yazidis”, the Region’s presidency said in a statement.

He affirmed that the Region would “continue their efforts and work to solve the problems of the Yazidis and Sinjar” and that Erbil would provide assistance and coordinate with the relevant authorities in the Iraqi government and international community regarding their issues.

Murad, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, is a Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in Mosul in 2014.

Several of her brothers were killed by Islamic State and their wives also held captive.

Islamic State overran the Yazidi faith’s heartland of Sinjar in the Kurdistan Region in 2014, forcing young women into servitude as “wives” for its fighters and massacring men and older women.

The militants shot, beheaded, burned alive or kidnapped more than 9,000 members of the minority religion, in what the United Nations has called a genocidal campaign against them. According to community leaders, more than 3,000 Yazidis remain unaccounted for.

Barzani and Murad also discussed return of Yazidi displaced families to Sinjar district as well as the Sinjar agreement between Erbil and Baghdad.

In October, the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reached an agreement to normalize the governance and security situation in Sinjar.

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