Commemorating the first excavation of Mass Graves in Sinjar

March 15, 2019

“Through the efforts of newely established Sinjar women peace group, Yazidis people will bring back peace to their areas”. Said the Head of NGOs directorate, Mr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2019.

Sinjar, 15 March 2019 _ The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Social Cohesion and Peaceful Coexistence project in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers organized a ceremony to commemorate the first excavation of the mass graves in Sinjar, Kujo Village.

The ceremony came as part of the role of the recently established group of women to promote and advocate peace within their community, and support the strengthening of the women role in community reconciliation as both influencers and beneficiaries.

The women peace group has supported the Mass Graves Excavation Ceremony to commemorate the first excavation of ISIL victims in Sinjar, as a step led by the government to achieve transitional justice after the liberation from ISIL.  Senior officials from the central government, Sinjar authorities, representatives of the Yezidi community, and families of the victim have attended the ceremony in Sinjar which was occupied by ISIL during 2014-2017. The occupation caused a massive exodus for more that 80,000 inhabitants of Yezidis, while thousands were persecuted and killed by ISIL.

The Head of NGOs directorate, and the supervisor of Sinjar and Ninewah Plains portfolio in the High Supreme Committee for Co-existence and Community Peace, Mr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi, said during the ceremony: “Today, we gathered to deliver a message that Sinjar, Kojo, Sennoni,  Al-Qahtaniyah and every place and blessed spot inhabited by Yazidis have defeated terrorism. Yazidis people will bring back peace to the area with the efforts of its people, and through the efforts of newely established Sinjar women peace group, whom will be the peace builders in Sinjar community.

Mrs. Shama Shengali, member of Ninewah Women Peace Group said: “large number of Yazidis people are living on a hope of finding their missing relatives and the process of the mass graves excavation will provide answers to those families. as women group, and as part of our role, we will make sure to raise the awareness of the community in Sinjar on those operations and processes as a step to achieve justice”.

The UNDP Integrated Reconciliation Project is supporting the community reconciliation through establishing and maintaining active and effective networks of Local Peace Committees (LPCs); Raising public awareness of reconciliation and social cohesion with a focus on youth and women; Strengthening the role of women in community reconciliation as both influencers and beneficiaries; and providing technical support to the Implementation and Follow up Committee for National Reconciliation (IFCNR) and the Supreme Committee for Coexistence and Community Peace (SCCP) with regards to the establishment and activation of the local peace communities, raising awareness on community reconciliation and creation of gender sensitive programming.

For additional information, please contact:

Ms. Israa Aljuboori, Gender officer, (m): +964 771 109 1222