Response from the UK Government about the Continued Violence Facing Yazidis in Sinjar – and the quest for justice for Yazidis who have experienced Genocide.

Apr 4, 2024 | News

From: Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Middle East,
North Africa, South Asia,
Commonwealth and the UN)
Prime Minister’s Special
Representative on Preventing
Sexual Violence in Conflict
King Charles Street

The Lord Alton of Liverpool
House of Lords

4 April 2024

Dear David,

Thank you for your correspondence of 10 March about the human rights situation faced
by Yazidis living in Sinjar. I am replying as the Minister of State for the Middle East and
North Africa.

In terms of the situation facing Yazidis in Sinjar, I would like to reassure you that the UK
regularly engages with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government
(KRG) on this issue. Specifically, the British Ambassador regularly raises the need for
stability in Sinjar and advocates for the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement.

Progress towards implementing the Sinjar Agreement has been hindered by a number of factors,
including tensions between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional
Government and the extremely complex politics of the region.

We encourage both governments to agree a candidate to appoint as mayor of Sinjar, an important and
necessary step to improve the security situation and lives of people living there.
Whilst the UK recognises Turkey’s right to self-defence, we also fully support the territorial
integrity of Iraq. We encourage restraint from activity that could lead to loss of civilian life,
or damage to civilian infrastructure.

It is critical that Turkey and Iraq reach a way of addressing their security concerns that does not lead to regional instability. As a close NATO ally, we regularly engage the Turkish Government on regional stability.

Most recently we discussed this issue with the Turkish Foreign Minister in Istanbul on 26
January. We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities, at senior levels, on regional
security issues.

The UK continues to support the Yazidi community across numerous areas. In August
2023 we acknowledged that acts of genocide were committed by Daesh against the
Yazidis. We played a leading role in the establishment of the UN Investigative Team to
Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD).

Following the oneyear and limited extension of UNITAD’s mandate in September 2023, we are committed
to ensuring that its legacy is preserved and that international efforts to deliver justice for
Da’esh atrocities continue.

Furthermore, we strongly advocated for the passing of the Yazidi Survivor’s Law in 2021,
a piece of ground-breaking legislation to support survivors of Daesh-perpetrated sexual
violence from minority communities. We have since funded capacity building support to
the Government of Iraq to support its implementation, which has led to over 1700 survivors
receiving reparations and the launch of a mental health and psychosocial support services
referral mechanism between the Government of Iraq and civil society organisation in
March 2023.

We will continue to push for its full implementation, which is crucial in
securing justice for survivors and to help them rebuild their lives. More broadly, the UK
has committed over £400 million in humanitarian and stabilisation aid in Iraq since 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Minister of State
Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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