Ezidi workers entered Duhok and are quarantined for 14 days

Nineveh, Ezidi workers are stuck at the Nineveh- Duhok checkpoint, April 2020. Photo: Exclusive to KirkukNow

Ammar Aziz- Duhok

After two months of being away from their families, the Kurdistan Regional Government allowed hundreds of Ezidis to enter the region on the condition that they will be quarantined for two weeks before reuniting with their families in the IDP camps.

The Ezidi workers, who are more than 700 laborers, used to work in the southern Iraqi provinces, including Baghdad, where they got trapped due to the national coronavirus lockdown. KirkukNow earlier reported that .they were trapped and wanted to return

Samir Sadad, who is from Sinjar and lives in Chamshko IDP camp in Duhok, worked in Baghdad. He could come back to the Kurdistan Region after a month of the announcement of the curfew. He has not yet reunited with his family.

“We are quarantined in a small hall, there is food, but the hall is small, and we are a lot. I miss my family, but I cannot move back to the camp until two more weeks,” Sadad said.

Before arriving at the Nineveh-Duhok checkpoint where they were stuck for a week, they were trapped for 50 days in Baghdad.

KirkukNow, on Thursday, April 16, published a video of one of the Ezidis, who was stuck at the checkpoint and asked to be allowed to enter Duhok province.

Sofya Faris, an Ezidi worker, said, “our video that was published by KirkukNow went viral, after that the security authorities solved the issue and divided us into two groups. Some of us are quarantined in the camps, and the others are moved back to their areas in the Nineveh plain on the conditions that they will stay at their homes for 14 days.”

“We were quarantined in Baghdad for a month, and in recent days, I was tested. Thank god, I am safe, but I will self-quarantine at my house.”

Coronavirus cases are yet to be recorded in the IDP camps in the Kurdistan Region, that house thousands of IDPs. Serious measures have been taken to prevent the virus from reaching the camps.

Harman Merzabag, deputy Ezidi Spiritual Leader for Youth and Students Affairs, said, “we will move the Ezidi workers to Duhok, who with the Ezidi soldiers are more than a thousand and 200 persons, who will be quarantined for 14 days.” 

Merzabag also stated that several other Ezidis had been blocked at the Nineveh, Kirkuk, Sulaimaniyah, Erbil checkpoints, and they are attempting to facilitate their return to the places of their residence. 

KirkukNow learned that a number of other Ezidis have been stuck at a checkpoint close to Mosul Dam and have not been able to enter Duhok province. 

The Iraqi Central Government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have announced a curfew since mid-March as a preventative measure against the outbreaks of the virus. Traffics between and within provinces have been prohibited. 

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