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WikiLeaks: 2008-08-20: 08BAGHDAD2666: Ninewa: Assyrian Mayor Says Qara Qosh is Safe and Should Not Join KRG

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD2666: August 20, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 05:07 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD2666, NINEWA: ASSYRIAN MAYOR SAYS QARA QOSH IS SAFE AND

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD2666 2008-08-20 13:25 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO4790
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2666 2331325
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201325Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8960
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 002666 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/31/2018 
TAGS: PGOV KIRF PHUM KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA:  ASSYRIAN MAYOR SAYS QARA QOSH IS SAFE AND 
SHOULD NOT JOIN KRG 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 2607 
 
Classified By: Ninewa PRT Leader Alex Laskaris, Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 
 
This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) message. 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) Summary:  Nisan Yousif, the Assyrian Christian mayor 
of Qara Qosh, in Hamdaniya district, described his town as 
safe and secure, yet also apathetic about upcoming provincial 
elections.  With regard to the Article 140 process, Yousif 
expressed a personal preference that Qara Qosh remain part of 
Ninewa province and not join the Kurdistan Regional 
Government (KRG).  He said that the people of his town should 
have the right to determine their own fate through 
referendum.  End Summary. 
 
Security 
--------- 
 
2. (C) On July 28, PRT members met with Nisan Karroumi 
Yousif, mayor of the predominantly Assyrian Christian town of 
Qara Qosh, which lies 30 kilometers southeast of Mosul in 
Hamdaniya District.  Yousif, whose office sits in the shadow 
of three large churches, discussed the local security 
situation, noting that since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 
2003 there have been no significant problems in the town and 
that the Christian residents have not been targeted. 
 
Article 140 
----------- 
 
3. (C) With regard to the Article 140 process to resolve 
disputed internal boundaries, Yousif said that personally he 
thinks Qara Qosh should remain with Ninewa province. He does 
not see any material advantage in joining the KRG.  Yousif 
opined that the KRG was only interested in expanding its 
territory rather than providing improved services to his 
town.  In addition, Yousif said that since Qara Qosh had 
traditionally been part of Ninewa province, leaving would 
cause problems with the surrounding areas.  Ultimately, 
Yousif said, that the people of Qara Qosh should be allowed 
to decide the fate of their town for themselves through a 
referendum. 
 
Voter Registration 
------------------- 
 
4. (C) Yousif said voter registration in Qara Qosh had been 
slow thus far ) especially among IDPs.  According to Yousif, 
there is confusion among IDPs regarding how to register to 
vote.  (Note:  According to Yousif, there are nearly 3,000 
IDP families in Qara Qosh, most of whom are Christians from 
Baghdad, Basra, and Baquba.  End note.)  Most IDPs are under 
the impression that when they register as IDPs with the 
Ministry of Migration, they are also registering to vote, 
according to Yousif.  Yousif went on to say that, in general, 
the residents of Qara Qosh are apathetic about the voter 
registration process and provincial elections because the 
last round had gained them so little in terms of improving 
their lives. 
 
5. (C) Bio Note:  Yousif is an Assyrian Christian and native 
of Qara Qosh.  A lawyer by training, Yousif said he was asked 
to return to Qara Qosh from Baghdad by the local church 
council shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein.  According 
to Yousif, he was chosen to serve as mayor by a committee of 
political parties and community leaders on May 31, 2003. 
Yousif described himself as an independent.  Yousif said he 
believes that the major problem facing Iraq is factionalism; 
people think of themselves as part of a sectarian group 
rather than as Iraqis. 
 
6. (C) Comment:  Yousif's opinions with regard to Article 140 
differ from those of Christians in Bartala, who tell us that 
they would rather join the KRG.  Affiliation with the KRG is 
the divisive existential issue within Ninewa,s minority 
communities, and we have found that people of goodwill 
genuinely differ on this question.  End comment. 
 
 
CROCKER

 



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