Former US war crimes ambassador calls for UN investigative probe into Yazidi genocide

21 July 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

After a United Nations Inquiry commission found last month that the crimes of Islamic State (IS also known as ISIS) against the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq amounted to genocide the call for accountability and prosecution of the perpetrators increased. What are the options to see anyone in the dock for not only genocide but also the underlying war crimes and crimes against humanity the commission said have occurred? International Justice Tribune spoke to former US ambassador for war crimes Stephen Rapp [IJT-186] who plays a central role in advising all stakeholders inside and outside on how to move forward and find justice for crimes against the Yazidi.

 

 

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yazidi woman who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State, bows her head after telling her story during a UN Security Council meeting (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)
Image caption: 
Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yazidi woman who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State, bows her head after telling her story during a UN Security Council meeting (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)

Now that the UN commission has put the label 'genocide' on the crimes against the Yazidi do you think that will spur on efforts to get crimes prosecuted? It has happened before with the war in Darfur, Sudan, being a labelled a genocide by then US-Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2004 [IJT-63]but now 12 years on, no one is in the dock. This despite a UN Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a warrant out for the arrest of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.

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