UNITAD head praises KRG coordination, support for ISIS investigation
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The head of the United Nations’ investigative body into the war crimes and other human rights abuses committed by the Islamic State in Iraq on Monday lauded the coordination and support the Kurdistan Region’s government provided the organization in its probe.
The remarks came during a meeting between Karim Khan and Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in the capital Erbil, where the two discussed the developments in the investigations on the crimes committed by Islamic State in Iraq as well as the preparation of a bill for a specialized criminal court, according to a statement from prime minister’s office.
Khan, a Special Advisor to the UN Security Council and head of UNITAD, commended the coordination and support of the prime minister for the works of the investigative body, describing the Kurdistan Region’s experience as a “successful” one, the statement noted.
UNITAD was established by UN Security Council Resolution 2379 in 2017 “to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da’esh) accountable by collecting, preserving, and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed by the terrorist group.”
The body’s investigation is focused on three key areas, Khan previously told the UN Security Council: crimes against the Yezidi (Ezidi) minority in the Sinjar (Shingal) district in August 2014; Islamic State crimes in Mosul between 2014 and 2016; and the mass killing of unarmed Iraqi air force cadets from the Tikrit Air Academy in June 2014.
The prime minister, in turn, thanked Khan for his work in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in serving justice for the victims of the crimes committed by Islamic State, according to the statement.
Barzani also congratulated Khan on his election as the International Criminal Court Public Prosecutor.
Over 400,000 displaced Yezidis live outside their home of Shingal, mainly in displacement camps in the Kurdistan Region. Since the rise of the Islamic State group in 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reports that it has hosted over 1.8 million internally displaced people and refugees.
Nearly 10,000 Yzidi men, women, and children were either killed or abducted during the Islamic State’s brutal occupation of Shingal, and thousands still remain missing.