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Sunday, 04 August 2019 00:11

UNITAD Marks the 5th Anniversary of the Attacks in Sinjar

Five years ago today, on 3 August 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - also known as Da’esh - launched an attack on the Sinjar region in Iraq’s northern Nineveh Governorate. Sinjar was home to the majority of the world’s Yazidis, a distinct religious group whose beliefs and practice span thousands of years.

The Sinjar attack was part of a larger assault, beginning in June 2014, during which ISIL attempted to rend the vibrant tapestry of the many ethnic and religious communities living in the Nineveh plains, including Yazidis, Christians, Shi'as, Turkmen and Shabak. So too did ISIL target members of the Sunni community who stood in opposition to its corrupted ideology. The Yazidi community was subjected to unimaginable horrors, with reports quickly emerging of mass killings, rape, sexual enslavement, torture and the forced recruitment of children.
The United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh / ISIL (UNITAD) is mandated by the United Nations Security Council to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da'esh) accountable by collecting, preserving and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Through our work to date with the Yazidi community, and with all groups impacted by the crimes of ISIL in Iraq, we have heard a common call: the individuals responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice. The Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD, Mr. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, speaking on the fifth anniversary of the ISIL (Da'esh) attack on Sinjar, emphasised, "UNITAD embodies the commitment of the international community and the Government of Iraq to not only honor the victims of Da'esh crimes, but to take action to hold those responsible for the crimes they have wrought."
On this anniversary of ISIL's attack on the Yazidis of Sinjar, UNITAD reiterates its commitment to work with all communities in Iraq in order to deliver meaningful accountability for the mass atrocity crimes perpetrated by ISIL (Da'esh) in Iraq. It is essential that perpetrators of mass atrocity crimes are not permitted to escape punishment and crucial that survivors of such crimes have their expectations for justice met.