UNAMI Human Rights Office visits Jalawla, Diyala, to Witness First-hand the Destruction and the Efforts for Durable Reconciliation
Jalawla, Iraq, 15 November 2018 – A team from UNAMI’s Human Rights Office visited Jalawla sub-district in Diyala on 14 November, witnessing first-hand the destruction wrought by Da’esh and the years of previous conflict, and hearing from the community about their suffering and their efforts to foster durable reconciliation.

The Da’esh terrorist group continues to pose a threat, especially in rural areas, despite its military defeat across Iraq. To counter this and to ensure peace, stability and a better future, grassroots efforts are being made to forge reconciliation in the ethnically mixed area of Arab, Kurd and Turkmen, as described by Mayor Yaqoob Yousif Mullah Ali, local civil society actors and community leaders.

Jalalwa’s representatives outlined the ingredients for peace: non-discrimination, participation, accountability and attention to the most vulnerable groups as key requirements: a human rights-based approach. All were unequivocal about the need for urgent attention to address economic, social and cultural inequalities: school buildings; access to clinics and medicine; water and electricity; housing; and services for persons with disabilities, widows and orphans. The mayor underlined the remarkable resilience of people in Jalawla; for example, how all communities have come together to renovate schools and clean up the streets. What is most needed, he emphasised, is assistance in obtaining the know-how and resources which will enable local people to claim their rights and rebuild their lives.

UNAMI HRO regularly conducts field visits as a way to reach out to communities, raise awareness about international human rights standards, listen to concerns and learn about local human rights-based initiatives from civil society actors and local officials.

Photos: UNAMI Human Rights Office
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