Yezidi NGO resumes activities in northern Iraq after talks with Kurdish officials

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Yazda organization distributing toys and stationery to war-affected Yezidi children in northern Iraq. File photo: Yazda

ARA News

Erbil – The Yezidi NGO ‘Yazda’ has announced that it will reopen and resume its activities.  In early January, the humanitarian NGO was shuttered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for engaging in political agitation.

“Following a series of meetings with concerned parties within the Kurdistan Regional Government, a positive result was reached with regards to reopening Yazda facilities and projects,” the organization said in a statement.

“The closure of Yazda’s facilities and projects was due to a misunderstanding and the interpretation of some Yazda activities as transgressing KRG laws and regulations,” the NGO explained. “We reiterate that Yazda will follow all KRG laws and regulations regarding NGOs as it does in all countries.”

The KRG had earlier said that Yazda was shut down due to its unlawful political activities. Doctor Dindar Zebari, the head of the Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports, said that the “organization worked in ways contrary to its mandate, and attempted to work as a political organization instead.”

“Representatives of the Yazda NGO were requested to stop their political activities. However, the NGO continued to ignore the requests,” the Kurdish official stressed. “The reason behind the shutdown of Yazda was that it was violating its main mandate, as it was supposed to only provide humanitarian services.”

Yazda says that they have now resolved their problems in the Kurdistan Region, but denied that they had ever been active politically. “We affirm that Yazda is not a political entity; it is neither linked to any political entities nor supports any side.”

“Yazda is a neutral, moderate and professional organization formed to support the victims of the Yezidi Genocide, through advocating for a future with security, so that the genocide is not repeated,” the organization added.

The Yezidi NGO expressed their “gratitude to all parties that contributed to resolving these differences.” Yazda’s Board of Directors also thanked the KRG “for their understanding, and affirmed its commitment to work within the regulations of the Kurdistan Region.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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