Special statement in 4th anniversary of Yazidi genocide

Exactly four years ago so called Islamic State attacked Kurdistan Region. First victims were Yezidis from Shingal on which terrorists committed mass murders. International community, according to the declaration of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights recognized the crime as a genocide. On August 3 we remember all the victims. According to various statistics from 5000 to 10,000 Yezidis were murdered and dozens of Yezidi cities, villages and temples were destroyed.  On this day, we also do not forget about Christians and other religious minorities murdered by ISIS and those who died in the fight against terrorism, including the heroic Peshmerga.

In the anniversary of the crime we want to remind that the tragedy of Yezidis is still not over. Although self-proclaimed capital of caliphate in Raqqa has fallen and Iraqi authorities has announced victory over terrorists, ISIS has not been finally defeated, and not all of the captured have been freed. According to the estimates of non-governmental organizations, about 3,100 people are still missing, mainly women and children- Yezidis and Christians. We can not forget about the tragedy of Yezidis until all the abductees will be released and all refugees will be able to return to their homes.

Unfortunately, reaching these goals have receded in recent months. ISIS terrorists are taking advantage of chaos in Iraq and try to go on the offensive, especially around Kirkuk. Last Autumn Peshmerga were forced to pull out from this area but in return nobody can secure peace and safety for the residents. Due to threat of ISIS, actions of shia militia Hashd Shaabi, lack of basic services and protracted reconstruction of post- war destruction, the return to the homes of refugees from camps in Kurdistan is very slow. According to the latest statistics of Joint Crisis Coordination Center, currently in Kurdistan there are 277,000 refugees and 1,110,000 IDPs. Total number is 1,387,908. In June only 3774 refugees returned home and there were 2757 new arrivals. Furthermore, international financial support is constantly decreasing. Kurdistan Region, which is just emerging from the economic crisis, can barely provide shelter, food and access to education for all those in need. Financial aid this year covered only 12.5% of the demand for Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan for 2018.

Therefore, on the anniversary of the genocide of Yezidis, we appeal for the memory of the victims, not forgetting those who still suffer in captivity, as well as for help for refugees. We can support them among other through Polish NGOs operating in Kurdistan.