Yezidi NGO resumes activities in northern Iraq after talks with Kurdish officials

The Yezidi NGO ‘Yazda’ announced that it was allowed to resume its activities after its facilities and projects were shut down by the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq in the beginning of January.
“Following a series of meetings with concerned parties within the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a positive result was reached with regards to reopening Yazda facilities and projects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq after resolving issues between the two sides,” the Yazda organization said in a statement.
“The closure of Yazda’s facilities and projects was due to a misunderstanding and translation of some of Yazda activities as transgression to KRG laws and regulations related to NGOs,” it explained. “We reiterate that Yazda will follow all KRG laws and regulations regarding NGOs as it does in all countries where Yazda operates,” the NGO said.
In the beginning of January, officials of Yazda had several meetings with officials of the KRG, including Falah Mustafa, the Head of Foreign Affairs in the Kurdistan Region.
The KRG said the Yazda organization was shut down due to political activities.
“Yazda organization worked in contrary to its mandate, and attempted to work as a political organization instead,” Dr. DindarZebari, Head of the KRG’s High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports said in a public statement on 6 January. “KRG has rescued thousands of Yezidi men, women and children from the hands of ISIS and other militant groups outside of Kurdistan,” he stressed.
“Representatives of the Yazda NGO were requested to stop their political activities. However the NGO continued to ignore the requests. The reason behind the shutdown of Yazda organization was violating its main mandate, as it was supposed to only provide humanitarian services,” Zebari said.
The Yazda organization said that they now fixed the problems and denied they were involved in any political activities. “We affirm that Yazda is not a political entity; it is neither linked to any political entities nor supports any side. Yazda is a neutral, moderate and professional organization formed to support victims of the Yezidi Genocide through advocating for a future with security, so that the genocide is not repeated against Yezidis in the future,” the organization said.
“The Yazda leadership expresses its gratitude to all parties that contributed to resolving the differences. Yazda highly appreciates our local and international partners, thanks the KRG for their understanding and affirms its commitment to work within the regulations of the Kurdistan Region so that the misunderstanding is not repeated,” the Yazda Board of Directors said.


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