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Late last year, the Iraqi government announced that members of the minority Yazidi community will be granted land ownership rights in the northern Sinjar (Shingal) district. Domestic and international stakeholders welcomed the move, which pushes back against decades of denial of Yazidi housing rights instituted by the former Ba’ath Party regime. But if it is to have the desired effect, the belated decision will require proper implementation.
UN, Iraqi government praise decision
Baghdad on Dec. 27 granted ownership of residential land and houses to their occupants in Yazidi areas in Sinjar, including to those without legal documents. The law covers 11 housing townships in Nineveh Governorate, some of them entirely Yazidi and some with mixed communities. The number of households it could impact runs into the tens of thousands. The United Nations—which has been working to resolve the issue since 2018—has reported receiving more than 14,500 land ownership requests from the community.
Sinjar is home to the largest concentration of Yazidis in Iraq. The community has long been marginalized, with thousands of families since 1975 denied...
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