AUOI Condemns Continuous Oppression of Assyrians in Iraq
Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 03:55 PM UTC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq, a horrible wave of terrorism has swept several towns in the Kurdistan Region. On Friday, December 2, 2011, starting in Zakho, thousands of young men paraded through several areas, destroying, pillaging and burning shops, hotels, and other properties. The attacks spread to 5 other towns and carry the hallmarks of an organized campaign. Their targets were the properties of the indigenous inhabitants of the area; the Chaldean Syriac Assyrians and the Yezidis, who have been the subjects of severe persecution. Shockingly, security forces in the region seemed to be non-existent during critical hours.
The Chaldean Syriac Assyrian community of the United States condemns these acts of terrorism as a tactic to intimidate and drive our people out of Iraq, and calls upon the Kurdistan Regional Government to act swiftly and justly to investigate this crime and to punish the instigators and participants.
We further call upon the United States government to reevaluate its departure from Iraq, and work with the Iraqi authorities and the United Nations to move toward a viable and lasting solution in the form of the recognition, under the constitution of Iraq, the Province in the Nineveh Plain as a mechanism to protect the safety, property, culture, and identity of our peopleand that of other vulnerable minorities who coexist in the area. For over 8 years, the continued targeting of these minorities in Iraq has resulted in an exodus that has threatened their very existence. The world today cannot and should not allow the destruction of the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian community and other minorities in Iraq.
The Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government's lack of sufficient response and meaningful concrete movement toward a solution, along with the insufficient response of the security forces of the KRG to the latest attack, have formed a resolve in our community. A viable and permanent solution - in the form of the Nineveh Plain province must move forward immediately.
History must not repeat itself. The Semele massacre of innocent Assyrian women, children, unarmed men, and priests in 1933 lingers in our memories, as does the crime committed against our people at the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad last year. Those who attacked Semele again, where the bones of our ancestors cry out for justice, must know of our resolve. We stand united in seeking a dignified solution to the plight of minorities in Iraq.
We call upon the Iraqi Government and all of its branches to move swiftly and immediately toward the establishment and recognition of the Nineveh Plains Province, to allow the minorities the security and protection under law. We call upon the government of the United States to consider the importance of its role and responsibility, under international law and obligations, in considering its next steps in Iraq. In the very immediate future, the United States has the chance to pass policy language currently adopted by the United State Senate for the 2012 appropriation that will support progress towards the formation of the Nineveh Plain Province. We finally call upon the United Nations, pursuant to the various treaties and charters, to consider the current plight of the Chaldean Syriac Assyrians and the Yezidis, Shabek and Turkmen with utmost concern.
Assyrian United Organizations of Illinois:
Assyrian Aid Society of America - Chicago