International Crisis Group: A Way Forward for Sinjar

International Crisis Group: A Way Forward for Sinjar

Both Iraq and its autonomous Kurdish region have formed new governments that seem ready to resume talks about the status of Iraq’s disputed territories. These are fourteen administrative districts – of which Sinjar is one – nominally controlled by Baghdad but claimed by the Kurdish regional government in Erbil. A new UN special representative for Iraq has brought fresh momentum to the task of resolving the disputed territories’ status. Meanwhile, Nadia Murad, a UN Good-will Ambassador who survived the Yazidi genocide, has won the Nobel Peace Prize, attracting renewed international attention to Sinjar in particular. The new government and the UN should jump at this chance to work with Yazidi leaders to rebuild Sinjar as an example for all Iraq.

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France welcomes Yazidi women and children fleeing IS group

The first 16 Yazidi women enslaved by the IS group in Iraq and Syria landed with their children at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday, part of a refugee welcome programme that aims to provide shelter to some 100 women by next year. French President Emmanuel Macron announced the programme in October during a meeting with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, herself a Yazidi victim of the jihadist group. Murad was present at the airport on Thursday to greet the newcomers. “These women are looking for peace and they are feeling comfortable now because they know that France is a country that wants peace,” she said. “They will be safe here because it's a country that respects the law.”

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Nobel Winner Wants To Start Fund For Women Sexually Assaulted In Conflict

Nobel Winner Wants To Start Fund For Women Sexually Assaulted In Conflict

"Sexual violence as a weapon of war is not isolated to one conflict — it is a common tactic used around the world. Reparations are a step toward restoring dignity to survivors who often do not have any means to seek justice for the pain and suffering they have endured. A global fund is an innovative solution to providing survivors with a path towards healing and it signals that our collective conscience acts in the name of humanity. The international community must push politics aside and prioritize justice and humanity."

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ISIS May Be Gone, But Iraq’s Yazidis Are Still Suffering

ISIS May Be Gone, But Iraq’s Yazidis Are Still Suffering

SINJAR, Iraq—Iraq’s strategically located town of Sinjar, now empty of civilians and devoid of life, “lies buried beneath rubble. Although it was liberated from the Islamic State three years ago, the city remains in ruins—and has become rife with proxy militias vying for regional control.

Situated about 20 miles from the Syrian border, the town lies south of the Sinjar Mountains, a range that has always held geographic importance. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein reportedly used the mountains, which have a high point of 4,800 feet, to launch missiles into Israel during the Gulf War in the 1990s.” Read more in Foreign Policy.

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President Macron announces his support for Nadia's Initiative's Sinjar Action Fund at The Paris Peace Forum

President Macron announces his support for Nadia's Initiative's Sinjar Action Fund at The Paris Peace Forum

Published on 13 Novembre 2018 via http://www.elysee.fr/communiques-de-presse/article/communique-contribution-de-la-france-au-fonds-lance-par-nadia-murad

“On the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum, the President of the Republic sponsored the launch by Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize 2018, of a fund for the reconstruction of the Iraqi Sinjar region, particularly marked by the Daesh abuses. France will mobilize two million euros to supplement this fund, which will include the creation of infrastructure, schools, hospitals, income-generating structures, and encourage the return of displaced Yazidi populations to their land. The President of the Republic hopes that other contributors can replenish this fund in the near future. He asked the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs to determine with Nadia Murad and his team priority projects.”

France stands alongside the government and the people of Iraq for the reconstruction of their country, as it did in the fight against Daesh. The destruction of religious minorities in the Near and Middle East is an integral part of the totalitarian project of the terrorist organization. That is why France has made a special commitment to help the most atrociously persecuted by Daesh, in particular through the implementation of the Paris Plan of Action for Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East. East and its efforts against impunity for crimes committed in Syria and Iraq.

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President Macron agrees to expand his support for the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar.

President Macron agrees to expand his support for the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar.

"The President of the Republic today received Nadia Murad, whom he had invited to Paris after obtaining, jointly with Denis Mukwege, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. He paid tribute to Nadia Murad's fight for women victims of sexual violence and against ethnic and religious violence. He reiterated France's commitment to impunity for crimes committed in Syria and Iraq. He said France would strengthen its assistance to the Sinjar region, both in humanitarian matters and in support of reconstruction. The President of the Republic announced that in response to Nadia Murad's proposal, France would welcome 100 Yazidi women, victims of Daesh, released but currently blocked and without care in the refugee camps of Iraqi Kurdistan. 20 of them should be hosted by the end of the year and the others by 2019. The President of the Republic has also agreed to sponsor Nadia Murad's launch of a fund for the reconstruction of Sinjar, which will include the creation of infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and thus promote the return of their land uprooted from Yazidi populations. The President invited Nadia Murad to present this initiative to the Paris Peace Forum, in front of dozens of heads of state and government, on November 11th."

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Nobel Peace winner Murad urges global fight against genocide

Nobel Peace winner Murad urges global fight against genocide

A co-winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize called Monday for a global fight against genocide and sexual violence, pledging to be a voice for victims around the world.

Iraqi Nadia Murad said in her first news conference since accepting the award that she feels obligated to use her voice to defend the rights of persecuted people around the world.

“We must work together to put an end to genocide, hold accountable those who commit these crimes and achieve justice for the victims,” Murad told a packed room at the National Press Club.

https://apnews.com/79e6964e52b34b17805a1a1222b4068e

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Help is on the way, at last, for religious minorities in Iraq.

Help is on the way, at last, for religious minorities in Iraq.

The United States will soon begin its first directly funded rebuilding projects for Iraqi Christian and Yazidi communities devastated by Islamic State militants, a U.S. official said Thursday.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/help-is-on-the-way-at-last-for-religious-minorities-in-iraq/2018/07/26/e6d58265-76f5-4d26-abcc-a76ce7e1aeca_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.cc0aa6ce4010

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New York Times: Outraged by the Attacks on Yazidis? It Is Time to Help.

New York Times: Outraged by the Attacks on Yazidis? It Is Time to Help.

We are very grateful to President Emmanuel Macron of France, who pledged to help demine the Sinjar region. And together with the French government, we are working on starting the Sinjar Action Fund, a trust fund to rebuild Sinjar. But we need more help. I call on governments, international organizations, private entities and individuals to contribute to the Sinjar Action Fund and help us return home and rebuild our lives.

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EU aid not reaching Yazidi in northern Iraq, says NGO

EU aid not reaching Yazidi in northern Iraq, says NGO

The EU has provided some €350m in humanitarian funding aid for Iraq between 2015 and 2017.

But Nadia's Initiative, an NGO named after an enslaved Yezhidi girl who managed to escape the Islamic State, says little if anything ends up helping the discriminated community in Sinjar, an ancient city in northern Iraq.

Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, who has been working with the community since 2015, told this website Iraqi politicians are now refusing to disperse any of the needed aid funds to the area in and around Sinjar.

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Hundreds of civilians flee Afrin

"Yezidi genocide survivor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad issued a warning on Monday about the safety of the Yezidi minority and the whole civilian population in Afrin.

“There is only one road through which people can leave the city” that is “under siege from all sides,” she stated.

Warning of war crimes, including civilian deaths, looting, shaming of minorities, and destruction of religious sites, Murad appealed to international bodies to intervene.

“This horror is reminiscent of the initial actions of ISIS in Iraq… This situation foreshadows ‘ethnic cleansing’ and genocide,” she stated, stressing that now is the time “to heal wounds” and prevent violence in Iraq and Syria" .

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Read more in Rudaw.

The Lethal Legacy of Landmines in Iraq

The Lethal Legacy of Landmines in Iraq

 

According to the United Nations, Iraq is the fifth most mined country in the world, with 59 landmines per square mile. One organisation, Nadia's Initiative, is pushing for the removal of the explosives and booby traps in Sinjar province, a region located on the Turkish-Iraqi border. We speak to the foundation's co-executive director, Elizabeth Schaeffer-Brown, for more on the demining operations.

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The Daring Plan to Save a Religious Minority from ISIS

The Daring Plan to Save a Religious Minority from ISIS

“Growing up in northwestern Iraq, Hadi Pir often went to Mt. Sinjar for solace. As a Yazidi, a member of an ancient religious minority, he believed that the narrow mountain was sacred, central to the Yazidi creation myth. Aside from the mountain, the region where the country’s six hundred thousand Yazidis live, also called Sinjar, is flat and desert-like. To Yazidis, it seems clear that God created the mountain because He knew that they would need a place to hide.”

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