Erbil, 5 November 2016- Under the auspices of the Provincial Council of Ninewa, UNAMI Human Rights Office (HRO) inaugurated a training course for civil society network in Ninewa on Community Reconciliation and Social Cohesion for representatives of civil society actors from Ninewa Governorate. The training course organized on 5 and 6 November 2016 will allow the 30 course participants to be acquainted with accountability and reconciliation principles, both on the theoretical and practical levels.
Bachar al-Kiki, the Chairperson of the Provincial Council stated that the main challenge following Mosul liberation is bringing communities back together, and for restoring social cohesion. He added that this would be accomplished only through a two-fold process: accountability for most serious crimes and reconciliatory measures. Accountability for violations and abuses of human rights committed during the armed conflict in Ninewa is an essential right of every victim and survivor who have suffered under the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He added that justice paves the way for individual and community reconciliation that in turn builds support for national reconciliation processes and which, in the context of Iraq, would contribute to ending cycles of violence that have characterized community relations in the country for a number of decades.
UNAMI HRO has initiated discussions with the Government of Iraq and the Government of Kurdistan emphasizing the importance of accountability in providing justice to individuals affected by human rights violations and abuses. HRO has stressed that access to formal justice mechanisms will be critical in order to ensure the accountability of the perpetrators of serious violations and abuses. However, where prosecutions are not possible, access to non-formal and restorative justice mechanisms will be equally as critical. The international community also has a role in ensuring justice for the victims and survivors of serious human rights violations and abuses committed in Iraq, by ensuring that that the perpetrators of international crimes are brought to justice and are held to account according to law.