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Nobel laureate Murad urges Kurdistan gov't to rebuild Sinjar areas

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Nobel prize laureate Nadia Murad has urged the government of the Iraqi Kurdistan region to carry out its role in rebuilding the Yazidi areas in Sinjar District so that refugees can return home.

Murad, a survivor of sex slavery by ISIS, met on Thursday with Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan Nechirvan Barzani, whose office said in a press release that the PM congratulated the activist on her prize and wished her success.

Barzani announced his full support “to the humanitarian role she plays in service of peace and the Yazidi victims,” said the statement.

Murad briefed the PM on what she went through when she along with thousands of women and girls were captured in Sinjar and forced into sexual slavery by ISIS militants in 2014, it said.

She also briefed him on her advocacy on behalf of victims of wartime sexual violence after escaping her ISIS captives and finding refuge in Germany. 

During her visit to Baghdad on Wednesday, Murad called on the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition to search for Yazidi women who were kidnapped in 2014.

"I am wearing my Nobel Peace Prize in Baghdad to say to all Iraqis 'you are the most worthy of peace, so be peaceful to Iraq and to each other, and to the Yazidis and other Iraqi minorities who illustrate Iraq's rich cultural heritage'," she said during a meeting with President Barham Salih.

On Thursday, a report released by Amnesty International said that millions of people were killed or fled when ISIS took over parts of Iraq in 2014 and their scorched-earth tactics still devastate rural communities. 

Looted livestock, burned orchards, planted land mines, sabotaged water pumps and destroyed farmland have lead to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of rural households and should be viewed as a war crime, the report said. 

The damage to Iraq's countryside is as far-reaching as the urban destruction, but the consequences of the conflict on Iraq's rural residents are being largely forgotten," said Richard Pearshouse, senior crisis adviser at Amnesty International.

"ISIS carried out deliberate, wanton destruction of Iraq's rural environment."

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