HASAKAH, Syria — On Thursday, the Yezidi House in Hasakah, North and East Syria, held a solemn event to mark the 9th anniversary of the Yezidi Genocide. The commemoration, which took place in Bazran village, began with a moment of silence. During the event, participants carried photos of the genocide and raised banners advocating for self-governance in Shigur (Şengal / Sinjar), Iraq.
In a heartfelt speech, Co-Chair of the Yezidi House in the Gozarto (Jazira) Region Suleiman Hammo recounted the tragic history of the genocide and expressed disappointment at the international silence that followed. Hammo highlighted the pivotal role of the People’s Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Jin, YPJ), and the Şengal Resistance Units (Yekîneyên Berxwedana Şengalê, YBŞ) in liberating Shigur (Şingal/Sinjar).
Member of Kongreya Star in Hasakah Rima Issa stated that many atrocities were committed against the Yezidi people, targeting them because of their identity and religion. Issa also criticized the Kurdistan Regional Government’s abandonment of the Yezidi people of Shigur to their fate. At the time of the Islamic State (ISIS) invasion of Shigur, video circulated of armed forces affiliated with the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) hastily loading into vehicles as Yezidi civilians pleaded with them to stay and fight.
Issa highlighted the scale of the crimes committed against the Yezidi people and the number of kidnapped women and children who have yet to be accounted for.
In related news, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq Jeanine Plasschaert called for the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement between the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Plasschaert stressed the need to prevent recurrence of more atrocities against Yezidis, the need for the return of the displaced, and the need for all parties to cooperate in the process of normalizing the situation in Shigur.