6 June 2017
The KRG Minister of Interior, Karim Sinjari, accompanied a delegation consists of Director General of the JCC and KRG’s Representative to the European Union, delivered a speech at the first Conference on “Post-ISIS Ninewa: The European Response”, held at the European Parliament, in Brussels, in the conference were attended the Representatives of the Government of Iraq, the United Nations, European Union institutions, EU member states, members of the European and Iraqi Parliaments and Iraqi and international civil society organizations to discuss options for Ninewa Governorate and other retaken areas in the aftermath of ISIS expulsion from Iraqi territory:
Minister Sinjari’s Full Speech:
Ladies and gentlemen…
I am pleased to be here in this important conference. I would like to thank their Excellences Mr. Elmar Brok and Ms. Anna Gomes for inviting us, Mr. William Spencer, and the organizers of this conference as well.
To discuss the post ISIS stage, there is a need to look at the situation before and during ISIS, in order to identify the root causes and consequences, and to understand the realities on the ground.
We need to have a clear vision and exert all our effort to find realistic and long term solutions, with the aim of restoring stability, many root causes resulted in the emergence of ISIS and their overrunning of one third of Iraqi territory.
ISIS appeared as the result of a political and security vacuum, as well as a policy of marginalization and unilateral governance in Iraq.
These conditions led to economic, and social problems, and an increase of unemployment, a lack of basic services, sectarian divisions, social injustice, and the break out of violence.
The ISIS carried out – and continue to carry out – mass executions, indiscriminate killings, the destruction of all holy shrines, the religious sites of all religious sects, enslaving thousands of women, girls, children, especially the Yezidis as sex slaves, the Yezidis and Christians are the most affected and suffered people. The Yezidi areas systematically destroyed completely.
ISIS also trained and brain washed thousands of kids, teenagers and youths on terror ideology and jihad. Additionally, tens of thousands of people voluntarily joined and supported ISIS, and they committed horrible crimes against civilians and security forces.
Therefore, despite the military successes by the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces, supported by the American lead international Coalition, and the liberation of most of the areas occupied by ISIS, the post ISIS stage is very difficult, since most of the root causes which led to the emergence of ISIS and the spread of terrorist violence are still present in Iraq. In fact, they are wide spread and have become more complex.
Dozens of armed groups and militia formed outside the formal security and defense system, after the complete defeat of ISIS, they will become a real threat and a problem to the stability and reconstruction process.
The social fabric was torn apart and all the components are divided with each fearing the other. Additionally, the affected communities lost everything; all their property, belongings and livelihoods are gone.
It is unlikely the displaced people will be able to return to their homes in the liberated areas due to the problems, I have highlighted.
Therefore, the post ISIS stage requires a clear strategy and long term plan among all stakeholders, including; the KRG, the Government of Iraq, representatives of all the national and religious components, the United Nations, EU, and donor countries. Their plan should encompass all sectors such as;
- A genuine national reconciliation; the reconciliation should be the first and foremost priority, as it is the foundation for ensuring success in all other sectors. The reconciliation should satisfy everyone’s request and meet their needs in a compatible way to restore friendly relations again among all communities. We believe that the Iraqi government should initiate a genuine reconciliation and lead the process as the solutions lie in Baghdad like power sharing, resource, financial and authority decentralization etc. Other sectors include:
- Reconstruction and re-establishment of services
- Transitional Justice; should include punitive, restorative and social justice (Fair distribution of funds, resources and job opportunities and economic development etc.)
- Support for IDPs return, compensation and restitution program
- De-militarization, disarmament and reintegration of the armed groups.
- Law and order enforcement, and empowering civilian administration
- Support for returnees, and livelihood support to create economic opportunities
- Reestablishment of the governance system
- Rehabilitation and reintegration of children and youths
- Women empowerment and creation of opportunities for their participation according to the Security Council resolution 1325.
In regard to the implementation mechanism, it should be similar to the military agreement among Erbil, Baghdad, and the Coalition, as well as the joint humanitarian contingency plan, with support from humanitarian communities.
We can build upon this cooperation and agreement for the post ISIS phase, forming a high level joint committee among Erbil, Baghdad, representatives of the affected communities, United Nations and donor countries to develop a clear joint strategy which includes the plan that I have explained for the post ISIS period.
The plan should provide an equal opportunity for all national and religious components to have a key role in the reconciliation, reconstruction and restoration of stability and peace processes across Iraq.
The European Union can play a key role in this process through political support and providing technical and financial assistance to ensure successful implementation of the after-ISIS plan.
It is clear that we alone will not be able to face this complex and difficult situation. Therefore, we need a long-term commitment, technical and financial support of the international communities in the areas that I have identified.
The European Union, United Nations and international communities can play a key role as key partners in this endeavor for securing long term stability, restoration of peace, coexistence, and social justice for all Iraqi communities.
Finally, on behalf of the KRG, I extend my thanks and appreciation to the ongoing European Union cooperation and support, and we request the EU to continue to provide financial and humanitarian assistance to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Once again, thank you very much for inviting us and providing us this opportunity to share with you our perspective and views on the post ISIS situation.