عربي | كوردى

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UN, Iraqi, KRG officials, Yezidis implore importance of evidence in Shingal mass graves

2019/03/15 | 17:15

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- KOCHO — In the southern Shingal village of Kocho on Friday, the first concrete steps began to document and definitively prove the crimes Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists committed in August 2014.

Under the auspices of Iraq's Council of Ministers, Ministry of Health, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the United Nations team investigating ISIS crimes in Iraq (UNITAD) began exhuming a mass grave in Kocho with Yezidis and local officials in attendance.“The exhuming of the mass grave is an indication of serious efforts for revealing the crimes of Daesh and to reach relevant results to unearth the identities of the victims. The process of exhuming the graves will continue," said Mahdi Aalaq, the secretary-general of the Council of Ministers.ISIS began its genocidal campaign on August 6, 2014, by targetting the Yezidis, an ethno-religious minority whose homeland straddles the Syria-Iraq border.Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad was present for the commencement of the dig. Murad, a native of Kocho, was taken captive by ISIS for six weeks prior to escaping. 

She then began a global campaign to educate the world of the genocide and was bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize last year.She explained that the Iraqi and Kurdistan regional governments, and international community all “failed in protecting” the victims while they were alive. She hopes they won’t fail them at this step.Murad added that the crimes of ISIS “can’t pass” without accountability. Arab tribal leaders have to provide security forces with the names members who cooperated with ISIS.“I hope exhuming these graves is a beginning for treating our wounds ... The people are tired of living in camps," Murad said.Many Yezidis remain displaced because of security concerns and a lack in the rebuilding of infrastructure. Karim Khan, who heads UNITAD, thanked “members of the Yezidi community that have traveled to come here for this important occasion.”He applauded Erbil and Baghdad for coming together to make the exhumation possible after the defeat of ISIS. "The government of Iraq, the security services of the government of Iraq, including the Peshmerga, the [Popular Mobilization Forces], the people of Iraq, of all communities, races, and religion united to ensure that the territory that was controlled by Daesh was taken from that evil grip," he said. "And they are to be applauded and thanked with a debt of gratitude for the sacrifice that has been made.“Harm has been done, damage has been caused that cannot be rubbed out with fine words... Nadia Murad spoke very deeply on some very profound truths… Unity is necessary.”

























































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