News / Middle East

UN: Minorities in Iraq Threatened by Islamic State

Displaced families from the minority Yazidi religious group, fleeing the violence, are seen on the outskirts of Sinjar, west of Mosul, Iraq, August 5, 2014.
Displaced families from the minority Yazidi religious group, fleeing the violence, are seen on the outskirts of Sinjar, west of Mosul, Iraq, August 5, 2014.
Kokab Farshori

The United Nations Security Council warned Tuesday that the Islamic State extremist group may be held accountable for crimes against humanity for its systematic persecution of minorities in Iraq.

The Security Council said in a press statement that the group poses a threat, not only to Syria and Iraq, but to regional peace, security and stability. 

It expressed deep concern for the hundreds of thousands of displaced people, many from vulnerable minority communities. The Security Council singled out the Yazidis, who have lived in the area for hundreds of years.

The Islamic State issued an ultimatum to tens of thousands of people from the Yazidi community on Saturday to convert to Islam and pay a religious fine or face death.  Instead, many of the Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion with links to Zoroastrianism, fled to the Sinjar Mountains where they have had no access to food or water.

Talking to VOA’s Kurdish Service from the area, Yazidi politician Qasim Shashow says that hundreds of Yazidi people have already been killed by the Islamic State militants while hundreds more, mostly women and children, died because a lack of access to food or water.

Iraqi government officials said 77 tons of food and water had been air-dropped since Tuesday.

However, Darwesh Bakir, a resident from the area told VOA’s Kurdish Service that the food and water supplied by the government did not reach the Yazidi community.

“Planes drop food and water from such a great height that everything gets destroyed when it lands on the ground.  We have not received anything from the regional or the central government,” said Bakir.

The Security Council urged all 193 U.N. member states to implement and enforce targeted U.N. financial sanctions, an arms embargo and travel ban on the Islamic State group and associated groups and individuals.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid