Kojo (Iraq)

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Kojo (Kurmanji: Koço) is a Yazidi village in the Sinjar District, southern of the Sinjar Mountains in the Nineveh Governorate in the disputed territories of northern Iraq. The village gained international fame in 2014 through the genocide of the Islamic State on the Yazidis.[1]

Kurmanji: Koço
Kojo is located in Iraq
Kojo within Iraq
Coordinates: 36°10′N 41°44′E / 36.167°N 41.733°E / 36.167; 41.733
Country  Iraq
Governorate Ninawa Governorate
 • Total 2,000 (before ISIS massacre)[2]
Time zone UTC+3 (GMT+3)


Kojo is like the entire region of Sinjar, one of the most controversial areas in northern Iraq and belongs to the disputed territories of northern Iraq. According to article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, a referendum should decide on the status of the village and the fate of its inhabitants. Since 2003, the village has been occupied by Kurdish Peshmerga troops, who escaped from the village on 2 August 2014. On 3 August 2014, the Islamic State took control over the whole village. On 25 May 2017, Iraqi forces and Yazidi militias liberated the village from ISIS.[3][4][5][6]


In Kojo only Yazidis lived and these were mainly farmers.[2]

Notable Persons[edit]

The Yazidi Human rights activists Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar were born in Kojo.[7][8][9][10]

Massacre of Yazidis from Kojo[edit]

On 3 August 2014, the Islamic State committed genocide against the Yazidis. The massacre could only happen because the Kurdish Peshmerga had fled from the ISIS and left the Yazidis defenseless. The Islamic State had imprisoned the Yazidi for 12 days in the village and then gave the Yazidis an ultimatum of three days, the Yazidis were to convert to Islam, or the IS would kill them all, since the Yazidis refused to convert to Islam, the massacre started on the 15th. August 2014. The IS separated the men from the women and children and took them all to the secondary school of the village, where the people had to hand over their mobile phones and jewelry. An estimated 1826 Yazidis lived in the village of Kojo. The Islamic State beheaded about 600 Yazidi men, some were burned or shot alive. The bodies of the people, including some who were alive, were all thrown into mass graves. Subsequently, the IS abducted more than 1,000 Yazidi children and women from the village. The under-14s were taken to IS military camps where they were trained to become IS terrorists, and the Yazidi women and girls were held as slaves and sexually abused.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21] Previously, 90 Yazidis (including 12-year-old boys) were shot dead by IS terrorists in the neighboring village of Qiniyeh on 3 August 2014.[21]


  • Nadia Murad: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State (Virago, 07.11.2017), ISBN 978-0-349-00974-2
  • Nadia Murad: Ich bin eure Stimme: Das Mädchen, das dem Islamischen Staat entkam und gegen Gewalt und Versklavung kämpft (Knaur, 31.10.2017), ISBN 978-3-426-21429-9 (German)
  • Farida Khalaf: The Girl Who Beat Isis: My Story (Vintage, 07.07.2016), ISBN 978-1- 910931-01-1
  • Farida Khalaf: The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story (Simon and Schuster, 04.07.2017), ISBN 978-1- 78470-275-5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Yezidi Genocide, Two Years Later". US News.
  2. ^ a b Kizilhan, Jan Ilhan (2016-10-10). Die Psychologie des IS: Die Logik der Massenmörder (in German). Europa Verlag GmbH & Company KG. ISBN 9783958901155.
  3. ^ "Iraq's Disputed Territories" (PDF). United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  4. ^ "After years of murder and enslavement by ISIL, Iraq's Yazidis are determined to liberate their own homeland". The National. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  5. ^ "Shingal: Irakische Truppen und Milizen befreien êzîdîsche Dörfer | ÊzîdîPress". www.ezidipress.com (in German). Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  6. ^ "Former Yazidi sex slave makes tearful return to her Iraqi village". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  7. ^ "Ex-captive of Islamic State sheds tears on return to village in northe". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  8. ^ "Reluctant champion: How Nadia Murad has become the international face of Yazidi suffering – and resilience". Christian Science Monitor. 2017-09-24. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  9. ^ "When Rape Becomes a Weapon of War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  10. ^ "Nadia Murad Makes Emotional Visit to Her Yazidi Hometown". Global Citizen. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  11. ^ "Yazidi Activist Nadia Murad Speaks Out on the 'Holocaust' of Her People in Iraq". Time. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  12. ^ "ISIS Committed The Most Horrific Crimes In Modern Times In The Yazidi Village of Kojo In Iraq - Al Shahid". Alshahid. 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  13. ^ Otten, Cathy (2017-07-25). "Slaves of Isis: the long walk of the Yazidi women". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  14. ^ "With Ash On Their Faces: Yezidi Women And The Islamic State | The Iranian". The Iranian. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  15. ^ Dangeleit, Elke. "Irak: Shengal als geopolitisches Schachbrett". Telepolis (in German). Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  16. ^ "Erschütternde Beweise für ethnische Säuberungen im Nordirak durch IS | Amnesty International". www.amnesty.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  17. ^ "Das Massaker von Kocho: Ein Überlebender berichtet | ÊzîdîPress". www.ezidipress.com (in German). Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  18. ^ "Testimonies from Kocho: The village ISIS tried to wipe off the map". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  19. ^ "Yezidis return to Kocho school where ISIS killed men, enslaved women". www.rudaw.net. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  20. ^ "ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis" (PDF). OHCHR (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights). 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2018-01-21.