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YAZIDI representatives accused Iraq of negligence today in failing to locate thousands of missing women amid the final battle to rid Syria of jihadists.
Thousands of Yazidis were massacred as Isis swept across large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, capturing women and girls who were sold to jihadist fighters. The United Nations (UN) recognises the killings as a genocide against the Yazidis.
Sinjar in northern Iraq is the ancestral land for the Yazidis, however they have been effectively pushed out of the area. More than 3,000 women and girls remain missing after they were forced into sexual slavery by Isis. Around 5,000 men and boys are believed to have been slaughtered.
Deputy of the Yazidi community in the Iraqi parliament Saib Khidr said: “When Daesh attacked our areas, it killed most of the men and destroyed Sinjar, the religious and strategic centre of the Yazidis. So, all that is left for us is to demand the return of the abducted women.”
Iraqi Foreign Ministery spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf rejected the negligence claims by the Yazidi community.
He said: “The Yazidis are Iraqi, and we know the extent of the crimes committed against them by Daesh and its gangs, and I am surprised that there is talk about the Iraqi government’s deliberate negligence of them.”
He claimed the Iraqi government was following up on all files, “especially the issues related to minorities, which reflect the sense of diversity and multiculturalism upon which Iraqi society is constructed.
“We are following and co-ordinating with all the parties in the file of the abducted women. We are communicating with the Syrian side, represented by the Syrian Foreign Ministry, and with all friends and partners, to obtain accurate and correct information, on which basis the next steps will be taken,” he added.
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