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France to welcome 100 Yazidi assault survivors from Iraq

Emmanuel Macron made the announcement on Thursday [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 October, 2018

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Emmanuel Macron made the announcement after meeting with Nadia Murad, who won a Nobel Prize for working to end sexual violence as a weapon of war.
French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Thursday to take in 100 Yazidi women who were victims of assault by Islamic State fighters, his office said on Thursday.

Macron's announcement came after a meeting in Paris with Nadia Murad, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this month for her campaign to end sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Murad was one of thousands of Yazidi women captured by IS jihadists before they were driven out of Sinjar and other parts of Iraq, starting with campaigns by Kurdish forces backed by US-led coalition forces.

Macron said that in response to Murad's request, 20 of the refugees being held without access to care in Iraqi Kurdistan would come to France by the end of this year, and the remainder in 2019.

He said he would also back Murad's launch of a reconstruction fund for Sinjar to build hospitals and schools, hopefully encouraging Yazidis who had fled to return to their bastion.

Murad was in Paris to present a report from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) on the brutalities inflicted on Yazidi women during the IS siege, in particular those by foreign fighters who had joined the IS jihadists.

More than 6,800 Yazidis were kidnapped, of which 4,300 either escaped or were bought as slaves, while 2,500 remain missing, the report said.

The federation called on governments to pursue its citizens who fought alongside IS for participating in genocide and crimes against humanity.

Yazidis are an ancient religious group who live mainly in Iraq and Syria and speak Kurdish or Arabic. They revere a high angel called Malek Taws, also known as the Peacock Angel.

Yazidis have often suffered at the hands of Sunni jihadists who have tried to portray them as devil worshippers, with IS trying to eradicate them.

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