MESOP NEWS SPECIAL : The Shabaks – Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict – مفهوم المصالحة والصراع لدی الشبك (Read also Version in Arabic)

11 August 2017 – MERI – The Shabak community, an abstruse ethno-religious group living on the Nineveh Plain just east of Mosul, is comprised of both Sunni and Shiites. The community’s religious identity has significantly evolved over time, moving from a distinctly heterodox to a more orthodox set of beliefs and rituals. This, combined with their geographic location in the disputed territories in close proximity to various other minorities, make their views on conflict and reconciliation particularly relevant for future coexistence in Nineveh.

The Shabak community suffers from four main conflicts. Two relate to relations with Sunni Arabs and Christian communities, and the other two concern divisions within the community itself over their religious and ethnic identity. The rise of IS has led to an intensification of these conflicts and the proliferation of armed groups in the area, significantly increasing the possibility of a violent escalation.

Shabaks are one of main minority groups most affected by the recent conflict beginning in June 2014. The community is fearful of the future and has doubts about the ability of the security forces and the judiciary system in place to deal with the post-liberation environment.

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