Representatives of various governments and the UN attended an event wherein Iraqi officials expressed the need to receive support from the international community to put ISIS militants on trial.
In a recent conference held by the Iraqi Government in association with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Japanese Mission in Iraq, Iraqi officials called upon the international community to provide support for Iraq as it tries captured ISIS militants.
According to the Government, despite the official announcement of ISIS’ military defeat in Iraq in December 2017, the militants continue to pose a threat to the livelihoods of civilians throughout the country.
“Thousands of prisoners of ISIS militants, who have foreign nationalities, in addition to the families of the group’s militants, continue to pose a threat,” said Abdulkareem Hashem, the representative of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi. “If they are not dealt with consciously and deliberately, we will face another threat.” Furthermore, the government says that many of the victims of ISIS still await justice to be served to these militants, many of whom are foreign.
“The Iraqi Government has applied for international support and legal cover, to deal with individuals who have foreign nationalities,” said Hashem.
Following the defeat of ISIS in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) struck a deal with the Iraqi authorities to transfer captured militants to Iraq where they will be tried and punished for their crimes. However, Iraq says that it needs support from the international community to try them and combat their extremist ideology.
“Combating terrorism requires cooperation and coordination between countries, including Iraq and the United Nations,” said Issam al-Saadi, the representative of the Iraqi National Security Advisory. “We should focus on abilities development, increased coordination among countries, database development, and monitoring financial transactions and terrorism financing.”
While many countries have denied requests to repatriate their citizens who joined the militant group, Iraq and Tunisia have accepted their returnees as part of a programme to try and potentially rehabilitate the militants.
While the International Community is struggling to find a solution for ISIS militants, the families of ISIS victims say that the militants should be tried in the country where they committed their crimes. This task, although tough, will likely be vital for the country to carry out to begin the healing process between its citizens, many of whom feel like reconciliation will be difficult until these militants are dealt with.