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YAZIDI women have explained how they have organised themselves to prevent a further massacre by jihadists in the run-up to events worldwide marking the anniversary of the Shengal genocide.
A delegation including fighters from the Shengal Women’s Units (YJS) has travelled from northern Iraq to the largely Kurdish semi-autonomous region of northern Syria known as Rojava.
There they will hold under a series of workshops today, the fifth anniversary of the Shengal massacre, under the slogan: “Defending Shengal women’s honour is to defend the existence of women.”
More than 5,000 men and boys were slaughtered as the Isis death cult swept across the region in 2014.
Isis accused the Yazidi people of being“devil worshippers,” meaning that they should be killed.
At the same time, more than 7,000 women and girls were kidnapped, raped and sold into sexual slavery.
Five years later, more than 3,000 remain missing. The international community has been criticised over the failure of its efforts to locate them.
Thousands of Yazidis fled to the mountains, where they found themselves under siege before being liberated by Kurdistan Workers Party fighters who opened a “humanitarian corridor” allowing their escape.
The massacre is recognised as a genocide by the United Nations. It was the 74th genocide suffered by the Yazidi people.
Shengal Women’s Movement spokeswoman Ehlam Heci told the ANHA news agency that Iraq’s Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi government had failed to protect the Yazidis when Isis attacked.
“We have since organised, especially in the military arena, so the Yazidi people won’t be subjected to massacres again,” she said.
Ms Heci warned that Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party had sent rescued Yazidi people to Europe in an attempt to separate the people from Shengal so that it could dominate the region.
But YJS fighter Newal Raperin said the main threat now came from Turkey, which she called “the prime supporter of Isis,” but the Yazidis were prepared for any potential invasion.
“We are prepared to defend our lands against Turkey’s threats,” she insisted.
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