ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarchate: there is an attempt to put a hand on the towns of the Nineveh Plain

Friday, 21 July 2017 oriental churches   middle east   nationalisms   kurds   geopolitics  


Bhaghdad (Agenzia Fides) - It is unfortunate that the "attempt to put a hand on the towns of the Nineveh Plain, through public or concealed struggles is imposing a negative influence on the native people of this land". This is what the Babylonian Patriarchate of the Chaldeans said regarding the events that in the last few months have increasingly been depicting the Nineveh Plain as a kind of "controversial area", around which geopolitical games such as the possible, future proclamation of independence of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan are played. Already, the Chaldean Patriarchate, in a statement released by its official channels states that this sort of “Control / Invasion” "is taking away the indigenous legitimate rights, provokes them to emigrate or forcing them to exclude the idea of returning back to their homes".
In spite of the reassuring speeches repeated by Government Officials about respecting the self-determination rights of Christians – highlights the Patriarchal statement also sent to Agenzia Fides - the practices on the ground are "irritating and disturbing". Most likely by making decisions on their behalf, while the fair solution is to; "listen to the voice of indigenous people; respect their right in choosing the right person for the right place at the right time".
The Chaldean Patriarch invites politicians and officials to reinforce their decisions with the insight of recognition, rationality and to listen to the indigenous people of every town in the Nineveh Plain and to maintain the joy of combating ISIS (Daesh) by involving wise representatives of these towns in making civilized decisions, whether for changing administrations or drawing "a specific future map for the region", especially that the vision at this period of time is blurry and circumstances are confusing. At the same time, the Chaldean Patriarchate also defines as inappropriate many positions expressed by Christians who do not live in the region, with their interference, end up increasing ethnic and religious conflittuality.
The Chaldean Patriarchate's statement does not refer to specific events, but there are allusions to the case of Alqosh (see Fides 19 and 20/7/2017), the town of the Nineveh Plain historically inhabited by Christians, where the Iraqi Province Council of Nineveh removed Christian mayor Abdul Micha from office - with allegations of corruption - and replaced him with a local political leader near the Democratic Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK). The removal was ordered by Bashar at Kiki, at the head of the Provincial Council of Nineveh, also a member of the PDK. The news raised concerns and negative reactions among native Christian communities and among Christian inhabitants in Alqosh, largely still far from their homes and hosted as refugees in Kurdistan and other Middle Eastern areas after being forced to flee in August 2014 ahead of the advance of jihadist militias of Daesh. The not many Christians who have already returned to Alqosh have publicly protested against a decision that several observers interpret as a confirmation of the plans nurtured on the Nineveh Plain and across the Province by the government of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, that has called for a referendum on independence on September 25, with the intent of proclaiming the unilateral secession from Iraq. Iraqi Christian politicians, such as parliamentarian Yonadam Kanna, Secretary General of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, in recent interviews denounced pressures and political actions by regional forces on local minorities - including Christians - to also push populations of the Nineveh Plain to support the future Independence of Iraqi Kurdistan. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 21/7/2017)