KRG stands with Yazidis, supports ‘full implentation’ of Shingal agreement: PM Barzani

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region— Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani received Nobel Laureate and Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad in Erbil on Sunday, a day after the remains of 104 Yazidi men killed by the Islamic State (ISIS) were buried in the village of Kocho, saying the government stands with the community and displaced Yazidis returning to Shingal.

The PM assured Murad that “the KRG stands with the Yazidi people and wants to see a safe and dignified return of all Yazidis to their ancestral home," Barzani tweeted, reaffirming KRG support "for the full implementation of the Sinjar (Shingal) Agreement."

During the meeting, Barzani and Murad reviewed ways to achieve justice through the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD) as soon as possible.  

The remains of 104 Yazidis killed during the Islamic State (ISIS) group's genocide against the ethno-religious minority in 2014 were returned to Shingal's Kocho village for burial on Saturday after being identified by forensic teams in Baghdad. It was the first mass burial of Yazidi victims, attended by thousands of people.

Neither the prime minister nor Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani attended the ceremony.

“We assure our Yazidi sisters and brothers that we will do our best, and continue working with Iraqi and international partners to make sure the Yazidi religion is preserved forever,” Nawzad Hadi, an advisor to President Barzani, said at the ceremony.

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 also abducted by ISIS. Thousands are still missing.

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.  Yazidis, including Murad, have called for the quick implementation of the agreement to allow displaced Yazidis to return home.

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.




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