Nearly 190 Yazidis return home after nearly a decade on the run from Islamic State

Nearly 190 Yazidis return home after nearly a decade on the run from Islamic State


A total of 189 Yazidis have returned after almost a decade to the Iraqi city of Sinjar, in the north of the country, one of the cradles of this minority brutally persecuted by the jihadist organization Islamic State during its territorial conquest of the country in 2014.

The 189 displaced persons have finally arrived “in the residential areas of Sinjar” after almost ten years in the camp for displaced persons in the neighboring province of Duhok, according to a statement published this Friday by the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement.

All of them are survivors of the terrifying jihadist expansion in northern Iraq, the conquest of Sinjar — also known as Shingal, in the northern province of Nineveh — in August 2014, the beginning of the genocide committed by the Islamic State against the community yazidi

To date, the Kurdish and Iraqi authorities have found more than 5,000 bodies in mass graves in the area and estimate that almost 6,500 women and children were enslaved. Some 2,700 are still missing.

The Iraqi Minister of Migration, Evan Faeq Gabro, has applauded the return of the Yazidis as a new episode of the government’s efforts to facilitate the return of the still almost 1.2 million internally displaced persons (half the 3.2 million 2015).

However, the return to Sinjar remains a very dangerous adventure. Although Islamic State was expelled from the area in 2017, the town is now a lawless place, surrounded by armed groups and with a very fragile infrastructure, experts from the Kurdish agency Rudaw explain.

What’s more, last month the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) took the opportunity to denounce that the returnees return with enormous economic problems, waiting as they are for the Iraqi authorities to decide to compensate the survivors of the massacres once and for all.

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