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France to take in 100 Yazidi women stranded in Iraqi Kurdistan

media French President Macron speaks with 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad, during a meeting at the Elysee palace in Paris on 25 October 2018. Etienne Laurent/Pool/AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to bring to France 100 Yazidi women who were victims of assault by the Islamic State (IS) armed group in northern Iraq beginning in 2014, his office said on Thursday.

Macron's offer came after a meeting in Paris with Nadia Murad, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this month for her campaign to end sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Murad was one of thousands of Yazidi women captured by IS fighters when the armed group took control of the city of Sinjar and other traditional Yazidi lands in northern Iraq in 2014. IS has since been driven out by Kurdish forces backed by the US-led coalition.

Macron said that in response to Murad's request, 20 of the refugees being held without access to care in Iraqi Kurdistan would come to France by the end of this year, and the remainder in 2019.

He said he would also back Murad's launch of a Sinjar reconstruction fund to build hospitals and schools, hopefully encouraging Yazidis who have fled to return home.

Murad was in Paris to present an International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) report on the brutalities inflicted on Yazidi women during the IS siege, in particular those by foreign fighters who had joined IS.

According to the report, more than 6,800 Yazidis were kidnapped, with thousands being bought as slaves. Some 2,500 remain missing, the report said.

The federation called on governments to pursue its citizens who fought alongside IS for participating in genocide and crimes against humanity.

(with AFP)

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