Statement by Undersecretary for Civil Security Uzra Zeya at Lalesh Shrine: Honoring the Yazidi Genocide

2024/05/34-1715589820.jpg
Read: 549     12:00     13 Май 2024    

«The best way to honor the victims of the genocide is first to never forget them. But we can’t simply just remember the names of those we lost, we must also care for the survivors – tens of thousands of whom remain displaced and yearn to return home – and deliver justice to those responsible for this tragedy. And most importantly, we need to join together to ensure this atrocity never happens again.

On this visit I have traveled from Baghdad to Erbil, speaking with leaders of the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to address this question of justice for the victims. I have stressed that the United States is committed to supporting both government and grassroots efforts to deliver justice to survivors, and to help them to heal. There have been steps towards justice but much work remains. Since UNITAD’s mandate expires in September, we are working with the UN and the GOI to ensure that UNITAD can wind down its operations in an orderly manner, that the evidence it has collected and processed is properly and sensitively preserved for future use, and that interested parties can continue investigations after its departure. We have also encouraged the Iraqi government to work with UNITAD on continuing protection measures for witnesses and victims who bravely provided their testimony and evidence.

In addition to justice for the victims, it is time to demonstrate concrete progress in addressing survivors’ concerns. We wish to see survivors and all displaced persons safely and voluntarily return home, to sew the fabric of Iraqi society back together.

Ultimately, this is a desire we share with the Government of Iraq as well as with the survivors. We have encouraged the government to make meaningful progress on appointing a mayor in Sinjar, to continue recruiting a local police force in Sinjar, and to enhance funding for reconstruction and service ministry staff deployments in underserved areas.

We have also encouraged the government to address concerns over the role of militias in areas liberated from ISIS such as Sinjar, the Ninewa Plain, and the homelands of other components of Iraqi society. The negative impact of militia groups on the security and stability of communities prevents IDP returns and stymies local communities’ economic development. Addressing these issues is key to ensuring that Yezidis and other IDPs can safely and voluntarily return to their homes.

Finally, as we look to the tenth anniversary of the genocide this August, we understand that one of the most meaningful ways to remember and honor the victims and survivors of this genocide is to listen to their stories. In Washington, D.C., we have already taken steps to remember the victims in our own way.

In January of this year, the United States Institute for Peace hosted the “Nobody’s Listening Exhibit” at the USIP headquarters just adjacent to the State Department. The exhibit was open to the public and commemorated the tragedy through immersive media displays including art, testimony documentation, and narrative on the impact of the Yezidi genocide.

Today, I am honored to announce that Mission Iraq is awarding a $70,000 grant to the Yazda NGO to further commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the genocide, by bringing the Nobody’s Listening virtual reality experience to audiences throughout Iraq this summer. Through a series of immersive experiences and engagements, the primary goal of the virtual reality experience is to cultivate a deeper understanding and empathy surrounding the genocide, honor its victims, and reinforce the message that the voices of its survivors are being heard.

Of course, there is plenty to do on the grassroots level as well, not just by governments. Individual Iraqis can do much to bring about healing and inclusion. By design, ISIS pitted members of different tribes and communities against each other to sow seeds of division, mistrust, and hatred. As a result, entire communities have stood accused of the crimes that individuals have committed. The U.S. government has led dialogue among community and tribal leaders to ease communal tensions and divisions. These communities co-existed peacefully before the genocide and can exist in peace again. There is much that each of us can do at the individual level. I look forward to continuing our work together supporting the victims and fostering a stronger peace. Thank you again for inviting me today».





Tags: #yazidisinfo   #newsyazidis   #aboutyazidis   #iraqyazidis  



Statement by Undersecretary for Civil Security Uzra Zeya at Lalesh Shrine: Honoring the Yazidi Genocide

2024/05/34-1715589820.jpg
Read: 550     12:00     13 Май 2024    

«The best way to honor the victims of the genocide is first to never forget them. But we can’t simply just remember the names of those we lost, we must also care for the survivors – tens of thousands of whom remain displaced and yearn to return home – and deliver justice to those responsible for this tragedy. And most importantly, we need to join together to ensure this atrocity never happens again.

On this visit I have traveled from Baghdad to Erbil, speaking with leaders of the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to address this question of justice for the victims. I have stressed that the United States is committed to supporting both government and grassroots efforts to deliver justice to survivors, and to help them to heal. There have been steps towards justice but much work remains. Since UNITAD’s mandate expires in September, we are working with the UN and the GOI to ensure that UNITAD can wind down its operations in an orderly manner, that the evidence it has collected and processed is properly and sensitively preserved for future use, and that interested parties can continue investigations after its departure. We have also encouraged the Iraqi government to work with UNITAD on continuing protection measures for witnesses and victims who bravely provided their testimony and evidence.

In addition to justice for the victims, it is time to demonstrate concrete progress in addressing survivors’ concerns. We wish to see survivors and all displaced persons safely and voluntarily return home, to sew the fabric of Iraqi society back together.

Ultimately, this is a desire we share with the Government of Iraq as well as with the survivors. We have encouraged the government to make meaningful progress on appointing a mayor in Sinjar, to continue recruiting a local police force in Sinjar, and to enhance funding for reconstruction and service ministry staff deployments in underserved areas.

We have also encouraged the government to address concerns over the role of militias in areas liberated from ISIS such as Sinjar, the Ninewa Plain, and the homelands of other components of Iraqi society. The negative impact of militia groups on the security and stability of communities prevents IDP returns and stymies local communities’ economic development. Addressing these issues is key to ensuring that Yezidis and other IDPs can safely and voluntarily return to their homes.

Finally, as we look to the tenth anniversary of the genocide this August, we understand that one of the most meaningful ways to remember and honor the victims and survivors of this genocide is to listen to their stories. In Washington, D.C., we have already taken steps to remember the victims in our own way.

In January of this year, the United States Institute for Peace hosted the “Nobody’s Listening Exhibit” at the USIP headquarters just adjacent to the State Department. The exhibit was open to the public and commemorated the tragedy through immersive media displays including art, testimony documentation, and narrative on the impact of the Yezidi genocide.

Today, I am honored to announce that Mission Iraq is awarding a $70,000 grant to the Yazda NGO to further commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the genocide, by bringing the Nobody’s Listening virtual reality experience to audiences throughout Iraq this summer. Through a series of immersive experiences and engagements, the primary goal of the virtual reality experience is to cultivate a deeper understanding and empathy surrounding the genocide, honor its victims, and reinforce the message that the voices of its survivors are being heard.

Of course, there is plenty to do on the grassroots level as well, not just by governments. Individual Iraqis can do much to bring about healing and inclusion. By design, ISIS pitted members of different tribes and communities against each other to sow seeds of division, mistrust, and hatred. As a result, entire communities have stood accused of the crimes that individuals have committed. The U.S. government has led dialogue among community and tribal leaders to ease communal tensions and divisions. These communities co-existed peacefully before the genocide and can exist in peace again. There is much that each of us can do at the individual level. I look forward to continuing our work together supporting the victims and fostering a stronger peace. Thank you again for inviting me today».





Tags: #yazidisinfo   #newsyazidis   #aboutyazidis   #iraqyazidis