Armenia recognizes Yazidi genocide

Waheed Mandoo Hammo, prime minister of Ezidikhan, the self-declared autonomous homeland of the Yazidi people in northern Iraq, issued a statement expressing his nation's appreciation and gratitude in a letter to Armenia's Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan after the Armenian National Assembly approved a resolution recognizing the Yazidi Genocide of 2014. Armenia is the first UN member state to formally recognize as genocide the mass killings and enslavement of Yazidis by "Islamic State" forces after their seizure of the Sinjar area in August 2014. Invoking the the 1948 Genocide Convention, the Armenian resolution condemned the "genocidal acts by terrorist groups against the Yazidi people committed in territories of Iraq under their control," and called for the "international community to take measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Yazidi people, provide them humanitarian aid," and "make all possible efforts to prevent" new attacks.

The Ezidikhan statement noted the history of solidarity between the Armenians and Yazidis in the face of genocide. Waheed Mandoo Hammo's grandfather Hammo Shiro was the Pasha of the Yazidis who sheltered more than 20,000 Armenian refugees in Sinjar during the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turkis and Kurds in 1915 to 1917. Prime Minister Hammo's letter expressed mutual recognition of the "shared traumatic experience" of genocide by the Armenian and Yazidi peoples, and the importance of seeking new international standards "that will ensure justice for peoples such as ours." ( Jan. 22)

Photo: Istanbul march commemorating second anniversary of Yazidi Genocide, August 2016, via VOA