211 displaced Yezidis return to Shingal from Kurdistan IDP camps

The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) announced Saturday the departure of over 200 Yezidis from internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the Kurdistan Region's Duhok province to their homes in the town of Sinjar.

A ministry statement said that 211 IDPs left the Dawdya, Chamashko, Bersev camps and in other host communities, and returned to their places of origin in Sinjar (Shingal).

"In the coming days, we will see the return of other groups of IDPs to their liberated areas," said Iskandar Mohammed-Amen, the MoMD representative in Duhok province.

The emergence of the Islamic State and its violent 2014 assault on the Ezidi-majority town of Shingal led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ezidis. Most of them fled to the Kurdistan Region, while others resettled in neighbouring countries in the region or Western states.

Others were not as lucky and remained stranded in the war zone, where they experienced atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for years. Militants subjected women and girls to sexual slavery, kidnapped children, forced religious conversions, executed scores of men, and abused, sold, and trafficked women across areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria, actions now widely recognised as genocide.

Before the 2014 attack, there were roughly 550,000 Ezidis in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. As the terror group took over large swaths of territory in Nineveh province, 360,000 Ezidis escaped and found refuge elsewhere, according to the Kurdistan Region's Ezidi Rescue Office.

Nearly six million people have been displaced forced to leave their homes to other areas inside Iraq, neighbouring countries, and to the Kurdistan Region since the Islamic State seized massive territories in ​​Iraq in 2014.

Most of the IDPs have already gone back to their homes, but over one million people remain displaced, most of them taking refuge in the Kurdistan Region, according to the latest official data.

SOURCE: Kurdistan24


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