Thursday, 10 May 2018 13:58

Deputy UN Special Representative Walpole Assesses Election Preparations during Visit to Sinjar, Dohuk and Sheikhan

Dohuk/Sinjar, Iraq - 9 May 2018 – Deputy UN Special Representative for Iraq for Political and Electoral Affairs Alice Walpole travelled to the conflict-devastated Yazidi heartland of Sinjar in Ninewa Governorate, visited Dohuk in Kurdistan Region to meet local officials, and called on the Yazidi leadership and a camp for displaced Yazidis in Sheikhan.

UNAMI senior leadership has been criss-crossing the country recently to assess electoral preparations and the political situation, and to explore the needs of several areas in the post Da’esh, post-election period and how the United Nations can assist. The United Nations is providing technical support and advice to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), the body that is organising the elections.

Holding discussions with several interlocutors during her 7-9 May visit, Ms. Walpole joined the Director of IHEC for Dohuk governorate to witness a simulation exercise of voting and transmission technology in two polling centres. The Deputy Special Representative commended the IHEC and polling station staff for their dedication. Meetings were also held with the Governor of Duhok and the Provincial Council Chair, during which the local political situation, the challenges of hosting an extensive displaced population, as well as preparations for the upcoming elections were the main topics of discussion.

Ms. Walpole toured the grand Yazidi Temple at Lalish in Sheikhan, and met with Yazidi spiritual leader Emir Tahsin Sa'id to discuss the situation of Yazidis and developments in Sinjar. "Despite the tragedy that befell the Yazidi community with the onslaught of the Dae’sh terrorist group in Iraq in 2014, leading to atrocities against thousands and mass destruction of Iraqi heritage, culture and infrastructure, the Yazidi community in Iraq has shown extraordinary resilience," noted Ms. Walpole.

Ms. Walpole also visited Esyan IDP camp in Sheikhan, which is home to over 14,000 Yazidis mainly from Sinjar. She met the camp manager and convened a focus group discussion with a cross-section of camp residents to hear about their preparations for voting in the upcoming elections. The Deputy Special Representative highlighted the importance of the participation of IDPs in the elections, and encouraged them to exercise their right to choose their representatives in parliament.

Ms. Walpole also travelled to Sinjar in Ninewa Governorate, where she met with the Mayor of Sinjar and lunched with the regional PMF and YBS commanders. There, she discussed recent security developments in the area and explored possible areas for UNAMI support in promoting reconciliation across Sinjar’s communities.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI
Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2018 14:11

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