KRG: +150,000 Yazidis have moved back to their hometowns in Sinjar

KRG: +150,000 Yazidis have moved back to their hometowns in Sinjar

Shafaq News/ More than 150,000 Yazidis have returned to their hometowns in Nineveh's district of Sinjar, the media department of the Kurdistan Regional Government said in a statement on Sunday.

"The Yazidis currently residing in their hometowns amount to 550,000 persons," the statement said, "nearly 360,000 persons are still internally displaced."

According to KRG's survey, more than 150,000 have returned to Sinjar, while 100,000 have moved outside the country.

Sinjar is a Yazidi-majority town in Iraq's northern Nineveh governorate that suffered heavily during the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) onslaught in 2014, leading to genocide and other systematic abuses against its communities.

With ISIS no longer a major threat, political disorder and security skirmishes continue to impede the recovery of the war-scarred community.

Sinjar is considered one of fourteen disputed territories claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil, which is defined by the rivalry between government and territory control. Additionally, as Sinjar shares borders with Syria's al-Hasakah province to the northwest and Turkey's Silopi province to the northeast, it remains in a regional quandary.

Under the auspices of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed on October 29, 2020, a security and stability agreement for the district of Sinjar, aiming for reconciliation.

In terms of security, the agreement calls for deportation of all armed groups and the appointment of 2,500 local security forces to Sinjar. However, the call for local police to re-control the area remains vital—absent implementation. The agreement also mentions the withdrawal of the Kurdistan Workers Party from the Sinjar district. The PKK moved to Sinjar with the advantage of a security vacuum in 2014 as the ISIS attacks ensued. Soon after the establishment of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), a political wing was founded under the Sinjar Democratic Autonomous Council and Yazidi Freedom and Democracy Party. With the PKK’s integration and the recruitment of Yazidis to the YBS to help with the area’s security, it created further obstacles to the group’s departure.

However, despite the repeated calls from the KRG, the agreement introduced to the public with minimal consultation for the local community remains with stalled with a little appetite for im

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