After the genocide against Yezidi by ISIS in 2014, Yezidi victims have rarely been mentioned as more than numbers. But these numbers are real people who were killed and thrown into mass graves. Women who were abducted, men who were cold-heartedly beheaded in the first days of the genocide campaign, children who became orphans. Mass graves are still being identified and opened. Thousands of women, men and children are still missing.
According to statistics shared by the Kurdistan Region president Mr.Nechirvan Barzani in his speech in the August 3rd conference in Erbil, 1,244 women and 1402 men are still missing, 324,000 still displaced in Kurdistan, and more than 100,000 have emigrated. 1200 women, 339 men, and 2023 children survived, but 2,745 children are orphans.More than 5000 martyrs from them, 400 from Kocho village alone were murdered.
So far, more than 81 mass graves have been discovered, according to Kurdish officials. But UNITAD’s latest report on the excavation of Yezidi mass graves indicates that only 40 have been excavated by their team thus far.
Despite the persecution and suffering that Yezidis have faced in Iraq for 9 years now, their situation remains unchanged, and the Iraqi government pays little attention to their suffering. In light of their continued displacement, many families recently decided to voluntarily return to Sinjar and rebuild their houses. However, there are no special compensation programs for facilitating their return to Sinjar.
For 9 years Yezidis have sought justice and accountability for the crimes committed against them by ISIS. 14 countries around the world have recognized the Yezidi genocide, most recently the UK government just this week. But the Iraqi government has still not recognized the ISIS crimes against us as genocide. Perhaps it’s because such recognition would carry with it the responsibility to remedy the situation for Yezidis.