Hoping to see Yazidis return to Shingal, Nadia Murad calls for action on Erbil-Baghdad agreement
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Nobel Laureate and Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad told Rudaw on Saturday that she hopes an administrative and security agreement struck between the governments in Erbil and Baghdad last year is implemented so that Yazidis can return securely to their homeland of Shingal.
Murad told Rudaw’s Nasir Ali that she hopes the agreement reached months ago would see “action taken so that we see our people return,” noting that people have been aspiring to “reach a solution on the security situation”
"There are thousands of mothers and widows of martyrs there that wish to see justice prevail so that they live in Shingal like any other citizen with dignity," she said during the burial of 104 Yazidis on Saturday killed at the hands of Islamic State [ISIS] militants in 2014 and returned to Shingal’s Kocho village after being identified.
Kocho, where Murad is from, is home to the largest number of Yazidi mass graves in the Shingal area. In Kocho alone, hundreds of men, adolescent boys, and older women were killed in August 2014, while more than 700 women and children were seized and taken to other ISIS-held areas.
Nadia met with President Nechirvan in Erbil on February 3 and Iraqi President Barham Salih on February 2 in Baghdad.
Thousands of Yazidis were killed when ISIS, which considers the ethno-religious minority to be heretics, tore through Shingal and other parts of northern and western Iraq in 2014. The bodies of many of those killed still lie in mass graves.
More than 5,000 Yazidis were abducted by ISIS when it overran the Yazidi heartland of Shingal in August 2014. Thousands are still missing.
Nadia also added on Sunday that they hope “our women and girls are rescued from Daesh [ISIS],” noting that many are still in Syria.
Baghdad reached a deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over the governance and security of Shingal, which is disputed between the two governments, on October 9.
According to the agreement, security in the area is Baghdad's responsibility. The federal government will have to establish a new armed force recruited from the local population and expel fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and their affiliated groups, according to agreement details released in October.
Implementation of the agreement began in November with the deployment of some 6,000 federal police to parts of Shingal that border Syria.
However, a commander of Shingal's Ezidkhan Protection Force, part of the Peshmerga, told Rudaw English last month that several different armed groups remain in the area.