Iraq: new peace agreements signal a step towards stability

The Yazidi minority group returning back to Sinjar, Iraq The Yazidi minority group returning back to Sinjar, Iraq Reuters/Rodi Said

09 October 2020

Negotiations between the Iraqi Federal Government and the Kurdish Armed Forces foreshadow a new chapter of peace within the nation

The northern Iraqi region of Sinjar had constantly battered by terrorism and instability since 2014. At that time, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had complete control over the region, by subduing the population into horror and desperation. However, as result of the ISIL’s military defeat, the native Yazidi population (minority group) began returning back to Sinjar after countless years of suffering genocidial attacks perpetrated by ISIL. According to the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Nadia Murad, about 100,000 Yazidi people began to repopulate their native lands. 

Unfortunately, the aftermath of the destruction perpetrated by ISIL left the vast majority of people without shelter, food, or water. The issue was that despite ISIL being defeated, confrontations between the Kurdish Armed Forces and the Iraqi Federal Military began. These hostilities further affected and debilitated the northern populations of Iraq, including the Yazidi. However, after several sessions of multilateral peace talks spearheaded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), both parties decided on October 9th to agree on a peace agreement for Sinjar. 

Following these events, the United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, stated that this agreement between the Iraqi Federal Government and the Kurdish Armed Forces (PPK) would be the first “big step towards a new chapter for Sinjar.” Hennis-Plasschaert also mentioned that the cease of hostilities would allow the national government to provide the necessary resources to fully reconstruct Sinjar. In that manner, those who were forced to flee their ancestral homes will be able to return to their lands in the near future. 

The Kurdish Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, mentioned that he was pleased with the outcome of the negotiations and thanked the UNAMI for its cooperation. For now, the international community must do everything in its power to ensure that the peace agreement is kept, so that the Yazidi and anyone else affected by the conflict can rebuild their lives.


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Author: Sergio Gomez

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