In an article at The Washington Post marking five years since the ISIS genocide began, Nadia Murad writes about how the genocide has not ended because 3,000 people are missing and little has been done for victims.
And she notes:
The continued suffering, fear and uncertainty in the Yazidi community show that the genocide process is ongoing. About 350,000 Yazidisremain trapped in camps in northern Iraq. Yazidis in these camps live in weather-worn tents without adequate access to food, water, electricity, education or opportunities to work. They also lack basic health care, including psychological support to aid in trauma recovery.
3,000 Yazidis are missing and ” Though thousands of Yazidis have sought asylum in Europe and elsewhere, foreign governments are approving fewer and fewer asylum claims, making it more difficult for Yazidis to seek safety.”
“I call on the international community to undertake concrete actions to support the repatriation of Yazidis,” she writes.
In addition she references her recent speech at the State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.
These include resolving Sinjar’s local governance issues, investing in long-term sustainable development initiatives, recruiting Yazidis into Iraq’s official security forces and prosecuting the Islamic State for war crimes. These steps are not only crucial to helping the Yazidis recover from the genocide but can also promote the rebuilding of trust among the different communities in Iraq, ultimately supporting the process of peace and reconciliation in the region.
While 80,000 Yazidis have returned, there are problems in Sinjar. This includes overlapping groups and militias and forces that control the area.
She says that “factions vie for strategic dominance, our community also suffers from a lack of infrastructure. Investment in sustainable development initiatives in the Yazidi homeland is vital.”
What is needed? Funds for facilities, hospitals and schools. “According to the United Nations Development Program’s Funding Facility for Stabilization 2018 Q3 Report, more than 90 percent of recovery projects in the region are underfunded, and the funding has decreased by 41 percent since 2017.”
Justice is also important
Murad writes that:
Finally, the Yazidi people deserve justice for the atrocities committed against them. This year, Sweden called for support from European allies to establish an international Iraq-based war crimes tribunal, modeled after the International Criminal Tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, to prosecute Islamic State fighters. The Syrian Accountability Project’s Report on the Yazidi Genocide recommends an international effort to preserve the physical evidence of Islamic State crimes, including archival documentation of Yazidi survivors and their stories and protection of forensic evidence such as mass graves. Moreover, the international community can help the Iraqi government locate the still missing Yazidis or record their fate. Until the full scope of Islamic State crimes are unearthed and justice is delivered, our people will continue to suffer.
The job is not finished. If more is not done the “seeds of further violence” could take root. That would mean that ISIS won in the long run.