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Christian charity welcomes UN commitment to investigate Christian genocide in Iraq
Christian persecution charity Barnabas Fund has commended the United Nations for its decision to investigate genocide in Iraq.
On Thursday the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to set up an investigation to collect evidence of crimes against humanity and possible genocide committed by Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
The inquiry includes crimes “motivated by religious or ethnic grounds.”
According to Barnabas Fund, although the Security Council resolution does not specifically name any ethnic or religious group, it has been widely recognised that Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims have been specifically targeted, with US Secretary of State John Kerry last year specifically referring to this as “genocide.”
The charity said the decision for an inquiry is a “major feat of diplomacy” due to fears that Russia and China would veto any such resolution in case it led to other resolutions scrutinising their own human rights record.
The organisation said the agreement appears to have been reached on the basis that the evidence collected would be used to try those responsible in the Iraqi national courts, rather than the International Criminal Court.
The charity said in a statement: “After years of calling for justice to be done to the victims of genocide in Iraq, the UN has at last heard a plea for the forgotten minorities such as Christians and Yazidis who have been erased from their homelands.
“We and other agencies have maintained that Christians have been systematically targeted by Islamists.
“We welcome the resolution and hope that it will bring about justice for minorities and ensure that the needs of Christians are prioritised after years of neglect.”
While Barnabas Fund is grateful for the new development, it said there is still a long way to go.
It said: “Let us remember that it is not just in Iraq but also in Syria and the broader region where IS have specifically targeted Christians. Nor is it just IS’s victims, but also victims of other jihadists that we must continue to seek justice for.”
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