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HomeOpinionsThe genocide of Yezidis is far from over. It is still ongoing!

The genocide of Yezidis is far from over. It is still ongoing!

Contrary to the popular notion that the atrocities inflicted on Yezidis have stopped with the fall of ISIS, it has anything but. The successive governments in Iraq have displayed blithe disregard for the concerns raised by the Yezidis, with resettling and re-empowering Yezidis conspicuously absent from the list of the priorities.

The genocide of the Yezidis began on August 3, 2014, in Sinjar and surrounding areas in northern Iraq. The Islamic State is responsible for the Genocide. In 2016 and 2017, the United Nations announced that the genocide is still ongoing. There was systematic murder and rape, separated into men and women: the men were killed and the boys used as child soldiers, the women and girls were loaded onto buses and older women were killed, and the rest were sold into slavery and systematically raped and mistreated.

According to the UN, over 5,000 Yezidis were murdered and over 7,000 Yezidi women and children were kidnapped. A Yezidi mass grave in the Sinjar region bears testimony to the horrors suffered by the Yezidis at the hands of their Islamist perpetrators. A picture of the grave shows bones of the victims jutting out of the mass grave in which several dozen Yezidis were buried after being massacred.

Mass grave in Sinjar bears testimony to the horrors inflicted on Yezidis

The current number of Yezidis in Iraq is estimated to be more than 700,000 people spread over three main regions: Sinjar(Shingal), is the largest Yezidi city in Iraq and the world, and Nineveh plain, which encompasses several areas for Yezidis, of which the most important is Sheikhan, the religious first and largest stamps of the Yezidis are in it, the Temple of Lalish, Bashique and Bahzani and the other villages such as Khatara and Mahat the third area is in Dohuk province, and only three areas are expected, namely Shariya, Khananki and Derbon.

Since 2014, more than 150,000 Yezidis have immigrated from Iraq, according to the classification of the UN. This large number of migrants has several reasons, of which the most important are ISIS’s genocidal campaign and persecution, as well as the neglect by the Iraqi government. In Iraq, in view of the conflict between the major political components, the small components of the “religious minorities” were neglected, and their rights were even directly confiscated. The government shares were divided into sectarian quotas. Minorities received small quotas from non-sovereign services and only Christians.

The Yezidis have suffered politically in recent times, although five representatives with a Yezidi religious background were present in the most recent Iraqi parliamentary elections, four of them belong to Kurdish political parties and a member of parliament belongs to a Yezidi party that holds the “quota” seats for Yezidis, although the Federal Court of Justice had decided as the highest judicial authority, the Yezidis quotas Allocate population, which is at least 5, which was implicitly rejected by the major political parties and received only one seat, which clearly violates the judicial decision.

Notable Iraqi journalist Riyad al-Hamdani says that the big blocks will not hesitate to control the minority seats in the Iraqi parliament whenever the opportunity arises, and it is clear that the current “quota” seats are also enforced in a certain political context, which is meant by the big political blocks, which means there is no free representation of minorities in Parliament in the current political blocks. Al-Hamdani considers the Iraqi parliamentary election law to be unfair for religious minorities, especially since it prevents the diaspora Iraqis from voting, and this means that, given the number of Iraqi immigrants, most of whom are minorities, minorities such as Yezidis and Christians are most affected by it.

In addition, the Iraqi government did not pay attention to granting adequate political representation to the Yezidis, and if we check the political situation of the Yezidis in Iraq, we would find that no Yezidi minister had been appointed in four governments and their representation was limited to a rank diplomat or general manager, which confirms the neglect of the government towards them and proves their sectarian and racist basis. The indifference to Yezidi interests is also apparent in the neglect of the reconstruction of the destroyed Yezidi territories in Sinjar. However, and here, according to a press release by the Governor of Nineveh, Najm al-Jubouri, we can look for neglect that there will be no reconstruction /rebuilding in Sinjar, unless the displaced return there, and here we have to ask how the City is 75% destroyed?

Besides Political and armed conflicts, the destruction of Yezidi-owned properties and the absence of justice prevent Yezidis from returning to their homeland. The Yezidi journalist Theyab Ghanem, who was surprised by the governor’s statements, said: “We are used to such indifference from the government and administration. After we were allotted an amount of money, a token amount of $ 25 million, which is nothing compared to the devastation in the Sinjar city, we were surprised that the amount was cancelled without notice.” Ghanem asked the Iraqi government to pay more attention to the Yezidis and their regions and to keep them away from political conflicts because they are a psychologically and morally devastated society and are exposed to constant catastrophes due to the conflicts over Sinjar.

It is clear that Sinjar in the current period is outside the plan of the Iraqi government because the political situation in the country is complex and this neglect has led to differences and conflicts in the Yezidi regions, there are Iraqi political attempts to change the world’s view to the Yezidis and cover their humanitarian affairs. What is necessary is that the Yezidis are taking serious steps to standardize their decisions in the coming time, find a formula that serves their society, and face the upcoming challenges and difficulties they face and they will have in the future due to political conflicts, regional conflicts over their regions.

The resistance of the Yezidis against ISIS and their predecessors was driven by the pursuit to lead a better and safe life. However, far from attaining that objective, the Yezidis in Iraq face another problem as their demands fall on deaf ears, and successive governments undertake no substantial efforts to address their grievances and make a genuine attempt to resettle them.

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