tv Combating ISIS and Protecting Minority Groups in Iraq CSPAN August 2, 2017 12:31am-2:19am EDT
>> c-span's "washington journal", live every day with new some policy issues that impact too. coming up on wednesday morning, discussion on efforts to stabilize various affordable healthcare insurance markets, with aei healthcare scholar and project director at georgetown university center on health insurance reforms. and delphine, recently elected national commander of the disabled. >> american veterans talks about healthcare and issues affecting veterans. rely beginning 70 eastern on wednesday morning. during the discussion. >> at the u.s. institute of peace in washington d.c., i regulators talked about the fight against isis and efforts
to protect religious and ethnic annuities. this is one hour and 45 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome you to the united states institute of peace. we are very pleased to welcome you here this afternoon. my name is bill taylor, the executive vice president at the institute of peace. very pleased to be able to cohost this with our friends. we will introduce everyone at the right time, the kurdistan regional representative is here and is cohosting. we also have the ambassador from iraq, welcome.
both will have an opportunity to speak to before the panel discussion. three years ago this month, isis targeted many of iraq's minority groups including christians, yazidi's, and others in its assault on others in northern iraq. isis also targeted arabs and kurds in many more areas. last year, the secretary of state and u.s. congress, i just last week, the current administration labeled as genocide the attack on the yazidi's, christians and other groups by isis. celeste administration, and this demonstration are in agreement and have been very clear. over the past three years, these communities have faced unspeakable atrocities, including mass murders, sexual enslavement torture.
through the efforts of the iraqi government, the carriage he and the u.s. government and international community, important progress has been made for liberation emotional and other areas are important accomplishments. conditions to have religious minorities be able to turn return home. despite these gains, thousands remained displaced from their homes many have seen the isis assault exacerbate existing conditions and exploit people creating distress, division, and insecurity. these groups to not only suffer at the hands of isis but under the role of saddam hussein and from intermittent conflict with other iraqis and continue to fight for their rights as citizens who are working to ensure a safe future. over the years, the united states institute of peace have supported iraqi minorities to emphasize the vital importance of their voices in local and national governments for their
safety and security of all iraqis. it works to find practical solutions. this is what we do. do this by working on the ground in iraq and other countries around the world with local partners. so they can become catalysts for peace in their own communities. we been in iraq uninterrupted since 2003 programs in iraq focus on improving relations between and among local communities in various parts in areas liberated by isis to dialogue, inclusion and joint problem-solving. they helped establish the iraqi minorities, coalition of civil society that provides a voice for minority groups and works on their behalf in practical terms. this was formed in 2011 and is
made up of 13 nongovernmental organizations working to advance the rights of christians yazidi's, and other communities. it also serves as a critical voice for iraqi minorities to the international america stakeholders including the u.s. government, the un, and un national governments. in 2014 aim worked with you and to convene a national conference on the rights of iraqi minorities. as well as a roadmap for implementation. currently, the un in consultation as supporting the drafting process along with equality and antidiscrimination with iraq based on the roadmap in the 2014 declaration of principles. aim has also supported initiatives by its members to respond to and raise awareness of humanitarian crisis in iraq and minority crisis following
isis assault. currently, the is working for the petite support tory budgeting to increase minority participation in decision-making at a provincial level. it's also working to alleviate tensions between christians and shoebox in a plane through series of dialogues informed by the findings of detail assessment completed with assessment from both communities. in addition to that work, i want to acknowledge that many organizations and activists, especially those who work in minority groups have done commendable work to bring attention to the needs of minorities and needed support to address those needs. but more work needs to be done. this afternoon we want to focus on the future. our panel will discuss ways the united states government can support minorities at this difficult time for these groups.
this diverse set of speakers is here to discuss some of the complex pieces involved in addressing the future of these communities which form the unique mosaic in the middle east. will be an interesting conversation. a necessary one at this vertical time for minorities in all iraqis. before the panel discussion we will have remarks from the ambassador and representative from both iraq and the kurdish republic. in the investor has served as iraq ambassador to the united states in washington since january. prior to his tenure he served as iraq ambassador to france and has held a number of positions in the government of iraq. [applause] >> the kurdish republic was in
1941 which is part of the federal government of iraq. because, i have lived it from afar, when you live a tragedy from afar you sometimes feel worse. and i have members of my family there. i remember in 2008 eric schmidt came to visit baghdad and he asked us, what is worse think that saddam did. so some of us answer, another said it was the uprising in 1991. i think the worst legacy of saddam was that we had a choice of these things. which one to choose. if he had asked us this question
in 2014 or 15, we would had one answer, what he did to the yazidi's. this is the worst thing that is happened to the 21st century so far. and i hope will be the last such events of its nature. this is a sad thing because iraq is a place of minorities. based on the letters she gives a very visit description of what she sees when she goes there. it is really a -- of minorities. baghdad at the turn of the last century had a plurality of jews who would've known that, yet they have left their mark on the iraqi states. this is something we have taken into account when the drafters of the iraqi constitution started working on the job. if you look at our preamble, the
elements a plurality the multiple nature of iraq is imprinted there. so this is something we have to live with and we have chosen as a result federal structure that combined us yet take into account all of our diversities. iraq in 2017 is not the iraq of 2014. the iraqi army of 2017 is not the iraqi army of 2015. the government and the people are not the same. i was recently at a conference in aspen where people talked about the relationships between the united states and america after ten years of war. i have to tell you, for me the real world again in 2014. and its consequences that it really brought all iraqis
together. one of the most emotionally charged images of this picture were iraqi soldiers, the prime minister, was standing side-by-side before liberated the rest of the areas that have been captured by isis. and it hasn't been easy. it is hard. and i have to tell you, i think the road ahead is even harder. because we still haven't finished the liberation of iraq, we still have to deal with many areas, and that is isis morse into a successor organization, we will have to still keep on fighting it. we have to stand together, but
on the issues that it will have to face, the issues that the investor just raised on the status of minorities in iraq, simply put, for most iraqis it's really for the iraqi government, is not iraq without us minorities. we are not north korea, and their preservation and their active preservation as vibrant, participative members of society with their role in tact and protected is vital and recognized by the constitution. this is why we have parliamentarians representing minorities by constitutionally mandated law and iraq. i really have to give tribute to those standing here who touched the conscious of the world thailand when she raised the issue of her people who are our people and forced us into
action. unfortunately, the world was kind of late. had the international community intervened, i didn't think we would be there. so as we move ahead, we will half to content with the liberation of the rest of iraq. but then in parallel when these elements link to each other will have to carry out humanitarian work and stabilization work which will enable people to go back to their homes and villages. then we'll need to engage in reconstruction. stabilization and the humanitarian work is actually going on remarkably well. these are not my words, their words of the united nations court nader who heads an incredible lady. she has recently in washington
stated what is being done in iraq is really a method of model to be applied in later humanitarian action. one thing she said that affected me because for a very part of its history the very first part of the iraqi army were the eight iraqi people. she said for the first time in her humanitarian work had an army put into its strategic and tactical objectives and priorities, the preservation of civil by. this is one of the reasons why say the iraqi army is not the iraqi army of 2014. anyway, we have to complete our stabilization of the liberated areas and then engage in the construction. and there the demands are
humongous. i don't think anybody has come up with a good figure. i look forward to a conference but our neighbors are planning to hold beginning 2018 to try to help us do that. we look beyond that our neighbors but beyond that, we will have to look at the issues of governance. for that, the threat trend in the politics that you see in iraq have the intentions of the government are distinct. there is a genuine will towards decentralization. not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the efficient thing to do. nobody has governed better when people govern themselves. this is what his plan.
we intend to have elections next year i have to say that iraq has two contradictory expertise is where they are the best in the region. one is the counterterrorism services anonymously, american officers has said this, not me, they're probably the best and i have to get through to them because the casualty rate has been in excess of 30%, unheard of. the others are electoral commissions, elections in iraq and a lot of people have recognizes have been fair and free. with an outcome that is not always known. a rarity in the region is a lot of people would say. so we'll have to deal with the issue of governance.
that will be done. but, beyond all of this i think one issue that is of prime importance for us to deal with is this issue of justice. people have been wronged. and i remember -- came to visit france in august of 2014. and i asked him what was the thing that was prime on his mind and he said the problem that i have is preventing young yazidi men from seeking revenge. and god knows what happened to them. but this is a prime thing we have to deal with. so this is one of the reasons right we work that u.s. aig has done.
and with regard to the massacre. but i have to know, to have been iraqi efforts here to watch this. of particular note is a project by a parliament member from most. she decided to look at what has been done in terms of reconciliation and to establish social justice and social peace in the world and she came up with a plan which i thought was brilliant and in need of support. if there any donors out there please call her up. the idea was to going canvas the cities that are liberated and test people what their grievances were. if for example they had been subjected to something like
murder or worse. then it would be put on a judicial track. if it be something else like confiscation of property, then there be some compasses torre mechanism. if not the maybe some things that they do well. with incentives to say stay on the track. then she went to rounded shot her proposal around to various numbers of parliament from the province which is the most diverse in iraq and she got an endorsement from all the women members, it's a woman led effort which i sleep. i hasten to say that the iraqi parliament has a 25% of its congress that are women. so justice is not an easy thing to do and we will need your help to do that.
beyond that, we will need to heal the survivors. we will need a massive effort and psychological assistance. i think all the iraqis are subject to ptsd, myself included. with varying degrees, and i'm a mild form. this is something that we need your help with. if you allow me, i'm going to read to something i wrote the international community could do to help iraq. the iraq needs the help of experienced human rights organizations, medical and legal
and donor agencies. in human rights groups must be formed. these organizations serve to establish human rights centers and all c cities. it should be formulated and implemented. iraq and laura should be trained in how to document and follow-up. they should be trained in how to prosecute them. iraq is psychologists should then how to counsel survivors. and the iraqi government should help with the framework for all this to happen. this cannot happen without a conservative effort. as i wrote this in may of 2003 when the mass graves were discovered first and still a .0. we have even more pressing cases. as opposed what happened earlier now the wound is extremely raw. if it is not dealt with quickly it will fester.
[applause] >> thank you. second speaker has served as representative of the curtis regional government. of iraq since 2015. prior to her u.s. appointment choose the high representative to the united kingdom, also elected to the leadership council in 2010. please welcome the representative to the podium. [applause] [inaudible]
[inaudible] [inaudible] >> i have no idea what that was about. so, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. ambassador taylor, distinguished speakers, ladies and gentlemen, then please set the cared she has been able to partner with u.s. institute for peace in this discussion. as we honor all those were killed, raped, enslaved, injured, or in any way harmed by isis. we must never forget the crime that isis committed three years ago when it rampaged across iraq. and particularly on august 3,
2014 when it targeted parts of -- we must do all that we can to help the victims to restore their homes and livelihood and bring to justice the criminals who committed those crimes. when isis struck that hurt all of the components that make up iraq. not a single community was left unscathed. however, it is the minority super the brunch. especially the christians in eusebius. the cared she has taken several steps, the regional government was the first government to recognize isis crimes is genocide. in 2014, the cared she had community for gaming international recognition submitted a genocide article 15
communication to the international criminal courts. in april 2015, sadly the prosecutor declined to formally open a preliminary examination into the situation. but, we continue to encourage the united nations, iraq, another member countries to open an investigation and create in international hybrid tribunal. >> the carriages prime minister, his office and our security forces have helped rescue 3092 yazidi's. that is 3325 remain in captivity. the cared she has opened a rape victim center, possibly the first of its kind in iraq. the medical, psychological and social support is available to
the victims of rape. we have protected and provided shelter for hundreds of thousands of yazidi's. and we have provided resources to christian churches and communities to fight isis. our forces have eliminated thousands of square kilometers, one taken by isis. whether 1750 pesce murder have been killed in close than 11000 has been injured. there pass laws and includes articles in its draft constitution that protect the rights of all people of all faiths and backgrounds but we recognize it's not enough we need to accept that society
evolves and demands change. for example, we have a system of allocating a quota to the minorities in the curtis and parliament. some are calling for the allocation to be widened. this should be studied and carefully consider so that the inclusivity that we are proud of his maintains an enhanced. this is just one example. what about the broader picture outside of curtis stand? the rest of iraq? what do we need to do to enable people to live a reasonable life? i don't speak of reinstating trust since trust was lacking before isis came and is not out of reach in the near future. it is more realistic to speak of security, stability, protection.
the steps we need to take her many in iraq and some of the -- first, justice and accountability. we need the international community to step up and say, never again that will allow the perpetrators to have justice. they should answer the call to the united nations members and allow an investigation of isis crying. the cared she was the first to recognize the crimes against christians and others is genocide. we commend the government of the united states and others for doing the same. the question is, whether we allow the recognition of genocide to be the only stop for the first step towards justice. we also need to enhance
security, engage in stabilization and reconstruction. we need the liberated areas to be contaminated of mind and unexploded devices. various local and foreign militias need to be removed so communities can return to the home. we need economic opportunities and development. many disputed territories included sugar were economically neglected before isis can. now, they are rubble. practical solutions are needed to enable families to revise their farming, businesses and professional practices. we need the international community to engage wholeheartedly in this effort, we cannot do it alone, whether they care gene or big governments. . .
they have a decentralized government in the future. we need to build an army for the country of their art and iraq needs to build an army that reflects the makeup of the country. they fought bravely. they are encompassed in iraq. in kurdistan we need to professionalize, train and crucially equipped with hershberger.
we are working with the united states, germany two the fish burger and we hope eventually we will be able to consider their training and equipping in a different way. we need to consider education. our children need to be educated in a way that we and our parents were not. children need to learn about other religions not only islam. education will also be one of the key components of countering the radicalization. the prime minister instructed the ministries of education and endowment and religious affairs to change that could kill them of the schools from islamic studies to religious studies and schools across curtis to. in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, no one can deny the
fact that trust if there was any is broken among the communities that used to live together prior to the isys onslaught. it is our shared responsibility to make a coordinated effort to pursue justice and accountability to plunge the reconciliation process, provide economic opportunity and encourage peaceful co- existence. we need to be realistic. the task at hand as it has already been stated is immense and difficult. the wounds are very deep and raw. it is painful to be betrayed by your neighbor, to have your loved ones raped, killed for their race, language or background. reconciliation and peaceful coexistence among the different groups even if possible will be a long and painstaking process.
there is no quick fix to implement. i look forward to the discussion that we will have today with the panel and once again i would like to thank you for organizing this event for us in a very timely moment. thank you. we admire your boy is in the face of that interruption in a good job to the security team for handling it for us. now i would like to welcome the distinguished panel to the sta stage. naomi will be the moderator for today. she's the deputy director of the center for prevention of genocide at the u.s. holocaust museum. she will moderate and introduced the panel.
it is an honor to be here for this conversation. i think i would speak for all of us on the panel tuesday for a moment of considerable reflection and humility we shouldn't be here for this conversation. we shouldn't. as the ambassador mentioned they were the victims of ethnic cleansing, genocide. of those communities should never have had to flee. we are here because the failure started off when the islamic state arose.
it started decades before. the communities have been in a situation of marginalization of physical insecurity for decades. and i think part of the conversation today has to be incumbent on walking to the future and how we can ensure the same communities are not targeted yet again and they have a place in the future. to ensure individuals are not the victims of crime. these communities and their well-being is the core of creating a stable region. if you could use your microphonemove yourmicrophone, . >> thank you. let's hope that william cannon join without too much of the background.
the chairman of the board of directors of the alliance of the iraqi minorities and that represents the minorities including christians, [inaudible] we are also joined by not paying a wonderful advocate for the communities in washington. there is considerable credit for the work that he and his office has done. he serves as a special advisor for the minorities in south-central asia at the department here in washington, d.c.. and finally as many of you with the directoknowthe director of e at the u.s. institute of peace. he joined in 2011 and is a very strong supporter of work that they've beethe workthat they'ven
building reconciliation on the ground to directly work with the communities to help them. to start the conversation, i wanted to ask you if you could talk a little bit about what are the conditions and the needs of minority need to see in order to return to their home. >> thank you very much. see two welcome, everyone. i am a member of the iraqi parliament. >> translator: it is a pleasure to be with you today on the anniversary of the attack of my people.
they took then aged and comforted them to islam and they don't even recognize their own parents in the region. it's just because we have a different faith. >> [speaking in native tongue] i don't know what gives you the reason for the logic to kill me just because of my different faith. >> [speaking in native tongue]
>> translator: the other cities [inaudible] >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: 400,000 have been displaced. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: 90,000 have fled to live in other countries. violet was 550,000. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: they are all now displaced. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: out what they are asking the community to do for all people. >> [speaking in native tongue]
>> translator: people need help to begin a new life. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: we need guarantees from the international community that this will not happen again. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: we need the international community to recognize these ostrosky's as genocide. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: [inaudible] >> [speaking in native tongue]
we have to build social peace, so i'm here to ask you and urge you and i'm not talking just for these communities thank you. [applause] a powerful reminder that the genocide is still going on for those that are still being held but also the call to action to ensure that we are investing in providing physical protection rebuilding the communities in allowing the trust i think what we forget is the perpetrators of these atrocities were neighbors and to create the condition we
have to return home and address but also to remind us of the fact these communities saw 550,000 have had to flee and they've gone from 50,000 in 2003 to the community and 1.5 million down to 350,000 now all displaced. i think that is a very important thing for us to remember the impact and scale this has meant for individuals in their own life. >> you are working on these issues in a daily basis. i was wondering if you could share with us what our some of the top challenges that are facing your communities and others as they attempt to move forward? >> could you hear the question?
and i think now is the time to think about the minorities and one of the benefits for the decade. we have to focus on this to speak about the settlement and the political and social system for the area of the minorities and also their future in iraq. maybe i didn't hear all the speakers talk about what happened but they spoke about
>> thank you for that. i think you did a remarkable job of covering a lot of the challenges in detail and i think that we wish to have you share your experiences and concerns more because the power is so much more important in hearing from those of us that are renewed from it. i think you highlighted a couple of points of critical importance to the need to keep in mind in washington and our discussions on how to protect the communities pursued foremost underscored the importance of remembering the communities are living primarily in the area that is contested love that
leads to a very important question around how we regard the protection of the minority communities as being part of the national security conversation and all too often the government's priority is including what it should be to fight the islamic state or how we should be investing in rebuilding and stabilizing based
on this perceived sense of what is the national security. but i'm curious from your perspectives how does the u.s. government understands these une issues and how does it integrate it into thinking about strategy protecting the communities. >> thank you for that question and for hosting us in this important discussion where we are pausing to remember those that felt isis starting three years ago and also remembering those that were in captivity. i think the point of the conversation today needs to be while reflecting on the recent past.
in the state department about the future of iraq post-isis. the government will work to assist the middle east or anywhere else around the world we have seen president trump highlight the vicious attacks perpetrated against christians, muslims, jews and others. and of course we've recognized they perpetrated against the. what can we do to ensure that the future minorities that is
going to be difficult but we have many lines of effort underway. first is what we heard from the security to ensure they are incorporated into the various police forces. there's the issue of ensuring equal treatment and the human rights and equal citizens. citizens. there's concerns about stabilization. what can we do to see the communities that isis destroyed or rebuilt and people can go home? but in this rebuilding of structures there's also rebuilding relationships into the question of reconciliation. how do we encourage communities to come back together and then
of course the shoes all iraqis want, an economwon't come an ecs for education for children end up in the last element we heard from previous speakers, the questions on the accountability, how do we make sure that those people at perpetrated are held accountable and i can go on. we are not doing this alone while the united states isn't a -- and as we hear heard presents on earlier working with our allies in the region in the coalition to help bring resources to meet the huge stabilization needs and also european friends and allies we
have specific multilateral engagement promote religious freedom around the world with our canadian and european friends but also the sprint tv coverage and spanish to help focus attention on the specific needs of the communities that are often as we'd heard distinct from those in the majority. so i would conclude by saying there's a moment othere is a mot opportunity and a moment of great peridot. we have an opportunity to see conditions be created where they see different denominations and others to live together to protect this beautiful diversity that once was so we are certainly committed to doing everything we can though we also
appreciate the partnerships we have in the room today. >> you mentioned the conditions being created and i think any time you speak with a member they will start their conversation saying it was only the latest iteration and that is the reason they feel so insecure because then we can defeat isis and those old and they are waiting to see what has come next in for the community that has been persecuted over the last few decades that's why they want to arm themselves and they seek to create malicious that comes from the history of knowing what has come before and
that's also what makes us so incumbent when we talk about ethnic cleansing and we make sure that if we are concerned with protecting the communities we have to be investing and reinvesting solving the political disputes. that is what i think we should be talking about is what are the obligations going forward to take care of these communities and that leads me to the question for you for those of us that do engage the hill and the administration were on brca1 with the government as well, but i am concerned about is there isn't enough attention on what needs to be done to invest in reconciliation, stabilization to protect the communities. they will be able to step in and
i think as they noted the government still face considerable challenges in helping the communities are going to be in the support that is needed. i wonder if you can talk about the work that you have been doing and how you make the case about the importance of supporting the reconciliation work in the building that trust again why that is part of building a more stable minima as well. reconciliation is one of the concepts into words but is being repeated because the seymour of the concept.
these communities speak about saddam hussein, isis, the tensions, we've been in iraq since 2003. we asked in partnership with the institute and also the partners in the senate for peace building and facilitators to ask the communities themselves what do they see as a source of conflict in the future and what does the reconciliation mean to them. this is each group in the communities come each political stream within the communities defines these issues and approach it in different time scale. all of them unanimously was how you don't look at this problem
just from the perspective. it is just one of the many things we suffer from yes it may be the one that made news in the recent future that we have to look at this issue from two layers, the national player and i also like metaphors i see it as a ship in this he is having the closest were going for conflict and it has many damages on that ship and water is coming from many places that you try to address all these issues focusing only on the minorities issues in the picture would be just one that would prevent it from sinking if we do not address the other part so it's important to address the capacity that would be one of the biggest that they could do
to help minorities. there are specificities in some tensions and conflict players we will point out to you. for them, reconciliation is now to get back to what the ambassador said it's practical. in no context is that more true in the context of the iraqi minorities. when you see the international community has support views, what are you doing tactically that is what they are looking for. and they approached this from those that sometimes do not see those.
it is a loose term that for the minorities at least in the first stage would be for them to be able to go home to touch on security and will the neighbors attacked again. so, to prevent that there has to be not only protective measures but looking at the security perimeter and how do you work on that relationship where it is a nonviolent existence. second, how do you then build on that end of it is where you would restore some trade and there is nin thatthere is no coe resources but there is a process. another skill into the loose term born citizen identity. these are all important in the context of the country but for those people they think in practical terms when i go through this checkpoint whether it is push her down or the iraqi security organizer groups, am i
being treated differently because of who i am? that is the level of practicality they think about when money comes into the reconstruction is it in our village because of the attention that we have is that the grand scheme of changing demographics by the regional neighbors so it is a very complex. please be on the lookout for the research that will be coming out gradually. we would invest in practical steps for the iraqi minorities is what they do for example. this is the will of the civil society they work in those
because of the lack of resources that was mentioned and attention could come just from the fact of assistance. so those communities and relationships would help reconcile and manage the scarce resources and prevent violence. and we have a number of flashpoints. it could be a flashpoint where you have the sensitivity between the minorities themselves in the regional countries like turkey, iran so this is where we have to go for a nuanced approach and practical steps and the reconciliation can help manage those conversations. >> i think it is so critical to
constantly be reminded of the complexity of the conditions that were there even before isis and how we need to be addressing them and the tensions are within the communities come at the communities and in the minority communities as well but that is through investin investing incla mapping in identifying the flashpoints and coming up with strategies we can be escalate the tensions so they don't become flashpoints and we at least have one level of protection for the communities. so just want to thank you for your incredible work you have been doing because i think it is one example of a practical contribution that can be made. we have some time to open up to questions from the audience. and i believe there are microphones on either side. there's two questions right away on the left and right. ithe right. if you can keep the questions quite a short way don't we take to the time.
>> and just a reminder that william is participating on skype so if there is a specific question or the comments that you would like to make. >> i'm the president of the national federation and i want to thank you for having this important event, but unfortunately we were not here in person. my question is to the representative that she can answer this. she spoke very eloquently about never again in a quality for all but my question is why have they forced the removal of the outgoing syrian and replace them with the tdp member that is not voted by the people in after
protests to be reinstated they initially replaced with a kurdish representative that was not representative and replaced with another member who was not voted by the people so i would like to ask her to respond to that removal and is this the plan to annex and should we be worried other towns because they have suffered 100 years of genocide if we continue to suffer and our people are the indigenous people. we are a minority that we were not, we were 7,000 years and that was our land and today we don't even have the place that was destroyed by isis into the antiquities that everything is now forced people to leave so i would like an answer to that. >> there is one more question in the back.
>> i was texting my friend to come to the event but she said that it would be another dog and pony show. i know what is going on there but thank you for raising all of the issues. do you have any strategy you can point out to give people like me hope because i am seeing injustice and apply it to justice. two days ago, the head of the committee documenting the genocide came out and said that the whole process so how can you
do that and to the other cover how do you convince a young sunni muslim boy to stop thinking about his father who was killed [inaudible] thank you so much. one was posed to someone that is not on the panel but i will check to see. could a microphone be given to the representative on political representation thank you very much for the question. my understanding is a the mayor was removed by the local council. it wasn' wasn't a political pars decision, it was the council's decision. i also understand there had been
a long-running investigation into there have been protests against him so this is my understanding of the situation. more broadly, i would like to ask a question of this young man who rightfully is concerned for his people. if the kurdistan regional government come if the people of kurdistan were so bad towards the christians the way you describe, why is tha it almost y christian left in iraq has taken shelter in curtis didn't? they haven't chosen to go elsewhere. they've chosen to go to curtis didn't. i am not saying it is perfect but it's the safest place for your community and other communities and many others even people who are muslim feel safer in curtis didn't than they do elsewhere. [applause]
it's an important conversation but if we can get to the question asked [inaudible] if i can quickly summarized [inaudible] >> i think you are underscoring something [inaudible] >> i would like to ensure you have a very, very important [inaudible] >> i would like to move onto the next question [inaudible]
thank you very much for your comment. every word you said i'm happy to answer but the conversation is bigger then the dispute that you're raising [inaudible] there are many who disagree with you. let's let the others have a conversation. >> when i used to play water pool competitively i never thought that i would play the role of the goalie because it was the hardest position. being the moderator of any discussion is hard especially on issues like this but i want to thank you for raising your concerns and also those that left earlier for expressing their concerns because it is important to try to identify and find a solution going forward the communities are protected and that they have legitimate
concern. there is no one voice that represents the communities were democrat or republican in this country so thank you for expressing that. it's a very important question that also touched on how to create conditions for people to feel safe to return and to provide opportunities and that was posed by a colleague. >> i think it is a great question, and a strategy to deal with that will be multi-fold. some of the things require international support and the iraqi government support, some of that will requir it will reqe decisions by the communities themselves. i know that there are leaders in each community that are trained to deal with those issues and they are different from its context is different sometimes from one village to another and you can convince a young man to go home and have several layers
of that and we've had some of those discussions. they do want to feel secure. they want to provide their own security comes with someone will want to provide their own security and present what happens. i think that is a right and an important point and there are other actors in this conversation that may see that as a threat. this is why the conversation is necessary to say how the siege after where you can address the mutual concerns and find the mechanisms to deal with them and to the question about somebody whose father was killed or who was a hero to him from another
community, with time i would have explained why in element a little more because isis came not from the communities they came from elsewhere, so to protect the minorities you have to put safeguards on preventing another isis from coming that would attack the minorities. as an institute, we are raising this issue and we are working on that right now and we are working on this and other places but more needs to be done. that is a very legitimate question and many actors are struggling with it. unfortunately, there is no crystal clear answer. >> i think we need to wrap up. is there time for one more question tax >> [inaudible] >> we will take a few more
questions. this gentle man right here in the front and there's a woman in the middle. >> 2015 because if i saw in the community in the fight against the kurds and isis. i respect what you've done in iraq with the community but not all [inaudible] my question is a lot of them went through and unfortunately they don't have the services that are provided in iraq due to the blockade, a lot of the needed humanitarian aid has not been brought to you ca camp or r places like the panthers still horrible humanitarian conditions and so my question is what have you done to help the community
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