Shafaq News/ On Wednesday, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia'a al-Sudani, and the United Nations issued a joint statement on the decision to grant the Yazidis property ownership rights for their houses in Sinjar after 47 years of "deprivation."
The following is the official statement published by the PM's media office:
Because of discriminatory policies, about a quarter of a million Iraqi Yazidi citizens in Sinjar district of Nineveh Governorate have not been allowed to own their houses and residential lands since 1975.
On December 12, 2022, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved a decree providing a comprehensive and permanent solution for the Yazidis in Sinjar. The decree grants ownership of residential lands and houses in 11 residential complexes to their occupants. The residential complexes are: Khansour (Tamim), Dughri (Hateen), Burk (Yarmouk). ), Gohbel (Andulus), Zorafa (Al-Urouba) and Dhola (Al-Qadisiyah), in the north district / Sinjar district. And the complexes of Tal Qasab (Al-Baath) and Tal Banat (Al-Walid) in Al-Qayrawan district / Sinjar district. And the complexes: Tal Uzair (Al-Qahtaniyah), Siba Sheikhari (Al-Jazeera), and Karzark (Al-Adnaniya), Al-Qahtaniyah district / Al-Baaj district / Nineveh governorate.
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr. Mohammed S. Al-Sudani, said, "The Iraqi government's decision to grant Yazidi Iraqis ownership of their houses in Sinjar, which they have been denied for more than 47 years due to the unjust exclusionary policies by the former dictatorial regime, comes in the context of the Iraqi government's clear and explicit endeavor, to protect the rights of the Iraqi components, especially the beloved Yazidi community in Sinjar and the Nineveh Plain," stressing that this decision, "was one of the firm convictions of the Iraqi state, and it was reviewed and presented in partnership with UN-Habitat."
The Iraqi Prime Minister affirmed, "This determination was clear and was demonstrated in the government program and the ministerial agenda that we presented and which the Iraqi parliament approved." Stressing that "this decision, along with other decisions that will be taken later within the Prime Minister's agenda, all aim at protecting the rights of the sons of these honorable Iraqi components, embracing them, and guaranteeing their rights within the principle of full citizenship, justice and equality."
For her part, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, welcomed "the decisive step taken by the Iraqi Council of Ministers, which ultimately led to providing secure tenure for thousands of Yazidis with regard to their rights to housing, land and property ownership. She added, "The decree constitutes an official recognition of the ownership of their lands and houses and ends decades of discrimination, and we hope that it will alleviate the suffering of the Yazidis and encourage their return to Sinjar/ Nineveh."
The Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, commended the "Iraqi Prime Minister's endorsement of the long-awaited decree for granting property ownership rights to the Yazidi minority in Sinjar," stressing that this decision is a "great achievement for Iraq, which is making significant efforts to protect and respect human rights regarding providing adequate housing. The Executive Director of UN-Habitat added, "Iraqi Yazidis in Sinjar have suffered continued discrimination, denying them the rights for housing, land and property ownership, and documents."
The Executive Director of UN-Habitat stressed that "This step by the Iraqi government is a promising and encouraging step because it enhances access to land rights for the marginalized population in Iraq and creates great momentum for the population in the towns of Sinjar to obtain land ownership rights, for the first time in nearly 47 years.
Since 2018, UN-Habitat has been dealing with the land and property rights of the Yazidi minority in Sinjar by registering more than 14,500 certificate title applications and issuing land occupancy certificates to prove the occupancy rights of the Yazidis, using modern digital technologies, with the aim of supporting the Yazidis' ownership rights.
UN-Habitat will work closely with the relevant institutions and committees formed by the esteemed Iraqi government to help to speed up the process of registering ownership and issuing full ownership titles for the houses covered by this decision.