Press Release

UN Iraq on commemoration of 2014 atrocities against Yazidis in Sinjar: peace, development, and accountability key for the community to flourish

03 August 2022

Baghdad, 3 August 2022 - Eight years after facing an atrocious onslaught by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Yazidi community has still not achieved the peace and prosperity it truly deserves.

Thousands of Yazidis are yet to return to their families and loved ones. Their whereabouts remain unknown. Many continue to suffer mental anguish after years of captivity, torture, sexual violence and slavery, as well as profoundly inhumane treatment. Countless others are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of a beloved family member, if not the entire family. Meanwhile, many Yazidis remain displaced from their places of origin. Due to continuing tensions, their ancestral homeland in Sinjar is still deprived of the essential stability needed to rebuild their lives, free of fear and intimidation.   

It must be clear that it is everyone’s responsibility to work relentlessly to ensure that the ongoing plight of the Yazidis ends now, and that every effort is made to provide the people of Sinjar with opportunities for a better future. The State is an umbrella for all, and its authority is the guarantor for every citizen of this country, irrespective of political affiliation, religion, or ethnic group. No Yazidi, nor any other Iraqi, should be a pawn in local or regional power competition. 

This is why the Sinjar Agreement must be fully implemented, without further delay. Stable governance and security structures are vital. It will allow the displaced to finally return home, reconstruction efforts to be accelerated, and public service provision to be improved.

The United Nations will continue to promote accountability for ISIL crimes against the Yazidis to reinstate justice for all who have suffered from these heinous crimes. Freedom and justice go hand in hand with peace and development.

We salute the Yazidis’ resilience in preserving their culture and heritage despite ISIL attempts to erase them, and in spite of the countless challenges the community continues to face. We shall not forget those who were killed, injured or traumatized, nor those who remain missing: the search for them must continue until this painful chapter is closed.

As we commemorate this traumatic page of Iraqi history, we renew our commitment to peace and stability for the Yazidis and the people of Sinjar.

Samir Ghattas

Samir Ghattas

Spokesperson and Director of Strategic Communications and Public Information Office

UN entities involved in this initiative

UN Assistance Mission for Iraq

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