Yazidis: UN resolution on genocide insufficient

Leaders of Ezidikhan, the newly declared Yazidi autonomous zone in northern Iraq, are protesting that a UN Security Council resolution calling for an investigation into possible genocide by ISIS is to limited in scope. Resolution 2379, unanimously passed Sept. 21, authorizes establishment of an investigation team to support Iraq’s efforts to hold ISIS accountable for "acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide." Ezidikhan Minister for Human Rights Rania Qaso Mesho applauded the resolution as a milestone on the path to justice, but also emphasized its shortcomings, saying: "The UN Security Council resolution does not go far enough. The resolution must also consider abuses by anti-ISIS forces that were complicit in attacks on Yezidi people."

Ezidikhan's Minister of Justice Nallein Sowilo said her office would also form its own tribunal to investigate the genocide and prosecute its authors. She added: "We are resolute in our intention to bring to justice those entities—nations, organizations, and individuals—who supported, planned, and backed the heinous acts of genocide committed by Daesh [ISIS] against innocent peace-loving Yezidis, merely because of our nation's very ancient oral traditions and beliefs."

"We Yezidis are the Children of the Sun. We are the original people of Mesopotamia. Our traditions date from the dawn of humanity… We can demonstrate that the Yezidis preserve the most ancient knowledge of divinity and creation. Yezidis deserve the utmost respect among all nations or peoples. This tribunal can be the platform to restore the Yezidis' pride in themselves and their ancient traditions." (Just Security, Sept. 28; Ezidikhan.net, Sept. 23; UN News Centre, Spet. 21)

The statements did not specify which other parties the Ezidikhan authorities are referring to as complicit in the genocide. However, the anti-ISIS forces in question presumably include Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government and its Peshmerga military force, which have been accused of persecution of Yazidis. Entities suspected of complicity in the genocide presumably include Turkey, which has been accused of secretly conniving with ISIS.