SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called for the normalization of security situation in Sinjar to allow Yazidis to return to their homes in the district.
Barzani released a statement on Wednesday on the occasion of Yazidi’s Jamaya Feast, which is celebrated every year in October.
Yazidis are gathering in Lalish for the festival, held annually in early October. It is a sacred time for Yazidis to make a pilgrimage to their holiest shrine in Lalish. The timing of the festival is to welcome autumn.
“I invite all of the Kurdistan Region to join me in warmly congratulating our Yazidi brothers and sisters here and around the world, and especially the Yazidi Mir and Spiritual Council, on the occasion of the Jamaya Feast,” said Barzani, according to the KRG.
“I hope this event brings with it the spirit of happiness and hope for a brighter future, and marks an end to all your hardship and suffering,” he added.
Barzani reaffirmed KRG’s commitment to deliver “greater” public services to the Yazidis, who were displaced due to Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Sinjar in 2014.
“I also urge for the normalisation of the security situation in Shingal to allow Yazidi refugees and IDPs to safely return to their ancestral homes with pride and dignity,” Barzani said.
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.
On Tuesday, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said the Region would continue to “do our best to locate their loved-ones and bring them back to their families and work to uncover the fate of the missing others”.