70,000 people returned to Shengal

However, according to the information received from the officials of the People’s Assembly of Shengal, some 70,000 Yazidi families have returned to their lands so far.

Following the ISIS jihadists attack on Shengal on 3 August 2014, hundreds of thousands of Yazidis had to migrate. According to unofficial data, around 550,000 people were forced to leave their homes in the attacks. They emigrated to camps in Bashur (South Kurdistan), Bakur (North Kurdistan) and Turkey.

The Yazidi youth, who resisted the attacks of ISIS mercenaries alongside the guerrillas, were organized in people’s defense units thanks to the HPG guerrillas.

The Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ) were officially formed after the ISIS attack. They were soon followed by Shengal Women’s Units (YJŞ).

The HPG, YJA-STAR, YBŞ and YJŞ eventually liberated Shengal on 13 November 2015. And in June 2016, the Êzidxan Public Security forces were established and joined by thousands of young men and women.

Area cleared

With the liberation of the area, the YBŞ / YJŞ and Êzidxan Public Security cleared the areas from explosives. Sinune, Zorava, Guhbel, Borik, Duhlo, Digure were also cleared and declared safe areas.

People returned

After the security and safety of the regions were restored, the citizens who had been forced to leave began to return to their lands. Hundreds of families who had settled in the camps in Duhok, Zaxo and Hewlêr returned to Shengal.

According to information from families who returned, the authorities did not allow families leaving the camps to take their belongings with them.

Recently, six families in Qadiya Camp in Zaxo district of Duhok wanted to return to their lands. However, the camp authorities did not allow them to take their belongings with them. The families stated that many families living in the camp wanted to return to their lands, but they were confronted by the camp authorities.

An official number has not yet been released regarding the number of returned families. However, according to the information received from the officials of the People’s Assembly of Shengal, some 70,000 Yazidi families have returned to their lands so far. The families returned to Xanesor, Sinune, Digure, Duhlo and Borik.

Democratic Assembly meets the needs of families

With the return of the families, the Shengal Democratic Autonomous Assembly took action to meet the needs of the people. First, it made sure water and electricity were provided.

Speaking to Rojnews, Pir Haşim, co-chair of the Xanesor People’s Assembly, said: “We are trying to meet the needs of the people. The families returned to Shengal after 5 years. However, when they came from camps and were not allowed by the camp authorities to take their belongings with them. The Assembly here supported families within its means.”

The families who tried to rebuild life on the land they returned to, turned to agriculture. Returning to Shengal after 4 years, Xidir Elyas is trying to earn a living by working the land. Elyas said: “The most beautiful place where one can live is his own land. I call all people who had to migrate to return to their lands.”