Shafaq News / President Nechirvan Barzani, the leader of Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), called on Thursday for the withdrawal of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and other unauthorized forces from Sinjar district. He also urged the Iraqi Parliament and the federal government to engage in special talks aimed at normalizing the situation in the district and expediting the return of Yazidi displaced people to their homes.
The poignant occasion of the ninth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide in Sinjar, commemorated in Erbil, the capital of KRI, provided a platform for President Barzani to express his profound respect for the unwavering courage and sacrifices of the Kurdistan Peshmerga forces, led by President Masoud Barzani. These valiant warriors bravely dismantled the ISIS terrorist stronghold, liberating Sinjar and etching a historic triumph in the memory of their people.
President Barzani also took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to the Global Coalition for their support of the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Forces in their relentless war against ISIS. He particularly appreciated the warm embrace of the people of Kurdistan, especially Duhok, who opened their homes and mosques to welcome Yazidi displaced people during the dark days of ISIS occupation in 2014.
Notably, President Barzani acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the Yazidi activist, Nadia Murad, to her community and expressed sincere thanks to various countries and international organizations that stood in solidarity with the Yazidis and acknowledged their plight as a genocide, with Britain being the latest to lend its support.
Focusing on the tragic events of August 3, 2014, President Barzani recounted the horrifying catastrophe that further compounded the list of crimes against the Kurdish people. On this fateful day, the Yazidis endured unimaginable suffering as ISIS perpetrated unspeakable atrocities against them, including kidnapping, enslavement, and the barbaric practice of selling them in slave markets. The heart-wrenching massacre, combined with the destruction of their sacred temples, marked one of the most heinous crimes of this era. It was in the village of "Kojo" where ISIS mercilessly executed around 400 Yazidis, adding to the already devastating death toll of more than 5,000 innocent souls.
President Nechirvan Barzani brought to light the grim reality that despite the passage of time, the fate of a considerable number of Yazidis remains unknown, leaving families in agony as they continue to grapple with the consequences of the crimes committed against their loved ones.
He emphasized the urgent need for the federal government to prioritize the reconstruction of Sinjar areas, which have witnessed the destruction of countless families and endured yet another devastating "Anfal" campaign, leaving deep wounds in the heart of Sinjar.
President Barzani's address was not only an earnest plea for the return of the displaced but also a call for support from all parties to help rebuild Sinjar. He expressed his determination to implement the Sinjar agreement, paving the way for the safe return of the displaced to their homes.
Importantly, President Barzani urged the withdrawal of all forces causing harm to the people of Sinjar, particularly the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and other unauthorized forces. He advocated for the responsibility of district security to be entrusted to its people and demanded the immediate withdrawal of any illegal forces that have perpetuated further suffering for the Yazidis, deepening their wounds.
In conclusion, President Nechirvan Barzani reassured the Yazidis and all minorities that Kurdistan will forever remain a beacon of peaceful coexistence, and any discourse of bigotry, racism, or hatred will never be allowed to tarnish the spirit of unity that binds their community.
With regard to the international response, he expressed gratitude for the global solidarity with the Yazidis' cause, but also lamented the lack of similar support for the reconstruction of Sinjar.
As he emphasized the importance of practical steps, he called upon the Iraqi Parliament, federal government, and all political forces to hold a special meeting and to take decisive action in order to find a swift and practical solution for the people of Sinjar. It is imperative for the Parliament and the government to agree on and implement the necessary measures to normalize the situation in Sinjar, in accordance with the agreement between Erbil and Baghdad.