German minister calls on world to not ‘abandon Iraqi people’

BERLIN, Germany – The political party of Angela Merkel highlighted the case of Yezidi victims of ISIS in a forum on rape as a weapon on war where a minister called on the world to not abandon Iraqis. 

“It is unacceptable for these criminals to escape punishment after the guns become silent,” Gerd Muller, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, told Rudaw’s Ala Shali after the forum on Friday.

Yezidi survivors and activists have repeatedly called for prosecution of ISIS militants who perpetrated crimes against their minority population, including genocide and rape. 

“Sexual assault is a war crime which should be punished,” said Muller. 

More than 1,000 Yezidi girls and women have been welcomed in Germany who has offered them psychological counseling and medical care as they recover from the trauma they suffered at the hands of ISIS.

Muller noted that most of the Yezidi girls and women, however, wanted to receive treatment in their homes, “so they remain close to their families and remain in their country.”

He called on the international community to provide more assistance to the Yezidis and displaced Iraqis and not “abandon the Iraqi people.”

Muller has visited the Kurdistan Region several times and witnessed the "dire" conditions of the displaced Iraqis there.

Germany, a member of the global anti-ISIS coalition, has pledged €107 million for stabilization in Iraq, plus a €500 million stabilization loan to Iraq, according to coalition figures. It has also provided military assistance, equipment, and training in the war against ISIS.

As many as 6,000 Yezidis are still under ISIS captivity. 

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