Once victims of (IS) brutality
100 Ezidi families look forward to a new start in France

December 24, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Erbil- Ezidi families at Erbil International Airport prepare to depart for France, December 20, 2018 Photo: KirkukNow

Khairi Ali- Ninewa

16 Ezidi families out of 100 which were offered resettlement in France have flown to Paris, France from Erbil International airport.

The families, all from Ninewa’s Shingal (Sinjar), departed on Thursday December 20, after French president pledged to bring in 100 Ezidi families which were victims of the Islamic State (IS) terror group’s brutality.

The Ezidi minority suffered mass atrocities under (IS) which controlled large swathes of land in Iraq in 2014.

The French president’s offer came during a meeting with Ezidi activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad –also a victim of (IS)- at the Elysee palace in Paris, on October 25, 2018.

France will welcome 20 Ezidi families by the end of the year and the remainder in 2019.

An Ezidi girl among the departees, speaking to (KirkukNow) said, “We are looking forward to starting a new life in France after going through lots of suffering at the hands of (IS) in Iraq and Syria, and we want to leave behind the miserable life in IDP camps which we had to live in after escaping (IS).”

The Ezidi girl who wished her name to remain undisclosed indicated that they will “receive trauma treatment in France.”

This girl, who had lost her father and four of her brothers, says they didn’t sense a true will by the Iraqi government to help the anguished Ezidi families; “instead, they placed us in camps which lacked the basic needs of life; therefore we decided to leave”, she added.

We didn’t wish to leave our country, but we had to

In August 2014, the Ezidis were subjected to large-scale campaigns of mass slaughter, kidnappings and displacement in the wake of (IS) attacks on Shingal, Bashik and other areas in Ninewa province.

Another Ezidi woman who was abducted by (IS) militants along with her husband and their 8 children and was only reunited with three of her them said, “We didn’t wish to leave our country, but we had to.”

“We feel consumed by our grieves, no one cares for the mass graves, no one is accounting for our missing loved ones; therefore we decided to take the opportunity and leave Iraq.”

Holding high expectations for their new life in Paris, she concluded by saying, “We will be eagerly waiting for good news to come from Iraq about our missing loved ones and the fate of the displaced families still living in the camps.”

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