Sinjar, Iraq, 10 January 2021 – In a spirit of continued solidarity with the residents of Sinjar, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert visited the district today to follow up on the implementation of a recent agreement between Baghdad and Erbil aimed at creating stability, security and better living conditions for its inhabitants. She was accompanied by her Deputy, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano. The UN delegation stressed the need to do more – in unity and at a faster pace - to alleviate the current hardships.
“Effective governance through a unified administration and stable security structures are the basis for any form of progress. What has been achieved so far could set the stage for a greater improvement in living conditions, but to make this happen all stakeholders will have to act in unity and solidarity”, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said.
The field visit builds on a meeting Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert held with the Governor of Ninewa and all components of Sinjar in Mosul in November, when she urged implementation of the agreement. During today’s visit, the UN delegation was briefed by the deputy governor of Ninewa, Hassan Thanon al-Ala’af, the commander of the Western Operations Command, Major General Jabbar Al-Ta’e, as well as the military and security commanders in charge of the district. They also heard from the local community and party leaders about their needs and concerns.
The UN Special Representative welcomed the agreement but calls for further action. “The completion of the security arrangements and the implementation of other parts of the agreement need to be expedited so that critical reconstruction work and service delivery can kick off and accelerate. Conditions on the ground must further improve to facilitate dignified, voluntary returns.”
The delegation also visited Sinjar Old City, devastated in the 2014-2017 conflict with ISIL (Da'esh), as well as Al Banat village located in Sinjar where around 600 displaced Sinjari families, mostly Yazidis, have returned to their places of origin. Displaced Sinjaris voiced their concerns and requested further assistance to the vulnerable local communities who recently returned from displaced camps.
“The United Nations Mission, Agencies, Funds and Programmes have been active in Sinjar in support of the government’s efforts and will continue working with the local authorities to step up stabilization and rehabilitation projects. Sinjaris must be able to feel at home again,” said Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano, deputy SRSG/RC/HC.
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