UN envoy highlights plight of Yazidi minority in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations top envoy to Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert highlighted the plight of the Yazidi minority and called for urgent action to ensure security and stability in Sinjar region in northern Iraq, a UN statement said Sunday.
Hennis-Plasschaert, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq, visited Sinjar for the fifth anniversary of the massacres committed by Islamic State (IS) militants against the Yazidi minority, a statement by the UN Assistant Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said.
During her visit, Hennis-Plasschaert "highlighted the continuing plight of the Yazidis and reiterated her call for urgent action to ensure stable governance and security arrangements."
"It is high time that the survivors, whose bravery we salute, be given the opportunity to return home and rebuild their lives in safety and dignity," she said.
In August 2014, IS militants rampaged across Sinjar region and killed thousands of Yazidi men, kidnapped and enslaved their women and exploited their children by recruiting them into their ranks.
According to figures from the Yazidi International Organization (Yazida), around 300,000 Yazidis remain displaced from their towns, while some 3,000 Yazidi women and children remain in IS captivity or are still missing.
It is estimated that there are around 500,000 Yazidis living in Iraq, about 80 percent of whom live in the towns of Sinjar and Bashiqa in Nineveh Province.