Yezidi survivor worried about future of Yezidis after liberation of her village from ISIS


Nadia Murad. File photo

ARA News

Nadia Murad, one of the most well-known Yezidi human rights activists, former ISIS captive and Nobel peace price nominee, although praising the liberation of her native village of Kocho, raised fears by Yezidis that their homeland will be divided in three or more regions.

“With tears streaming down my face, I have received the news that my village of Kocho is being liberated by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force. The liberation of Kocho is a victory for humanity. It is a victory of good over evil. Nonetheless, this victory is incomplete. The world has left my people to endure an ongoing Genocide,” she said.

“The Yazidi community have been waiting for three years, while constantly asking the international community to take the Yazidi Genocide seriously and to grant the most basic rights to victims in the aftermath of the Genocide. So little changed in those three years. The Yazidi areas, including Kocho, have remained either under control of the Islamic State or extremely unsafe after liberation,”she stated.

However, the Yezidi activist is worried that in the future the Yezidi areas will be divided between the different armed groups that are active in the Sinjar area, such as the Peshmerga forces affiliated to Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and now also the Shia paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) that in the last weeks started to liberate Yezidi villages in the South of Sinjar from ISIS.

“The liberated areas of Sinjar and Nineveh Plain, even two years after liberation, remained a battlefield for political and armed conflict and our people have not been allowed to have their say,” Murad said.

“Our fear today is that the Yazidi homeland in Sinjar will be divided into three or more regions and the opposing factions will fight for control on our land – not to advance the dignity of our people. To date, the Yazidis have obtained no rights and our demands to liberate our areas, provide international protection, or to attain justice for the crimes committed have not been met,” she concluded.

Moreover, she said there have been over 40 mass graves found in Sinjar. “I am horrified by the thought of the remains of six of my brothers in those graves, along with 700 other Yazidis who were summarily executed on the 15th of August, 2014,” she stated.

“Despite these deep wounds, I would like to thank everyone who participated in liberation of Kocho and other areas. The liberation of Kocho is a defeat for ISIS and a slap on faces of terrorists. It also assures that humanity will not be defeated by terrorism,” she added.

“Kocho is now liberated but it is a ghost’s village. While it was under siege for  12 days under the Islamic State in summer 2014, we called for help, but a genocide was committed against us. The men were killed in masses, women were kidnapped and raped, and children were stripped away from their mothers. Kocho is one of the capital crimes of 21st century. It is with this in mind that I ask the liberating and security forces to preserve all findings, so there will be living evidence of the Islamic State crimes forever,” she concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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