EU/Iraq/Syria: Breakthrough EU resolution supporting Nineveh Plain Safe Haven
In a unprecedented move European Parliament adopted a resolution regarding Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian (CSA people) in Middle East supporting safe haven in the Nineveh Plain and Syriac Military Council, MFS and further condemning acts of ISIS.
Strasbourg, EU – European Parliament, EP adopted historical resolution concerning the recent situation of the CSA people in the Middle East and highlighting importance of the European Union committment regarding minorities and vulnerable groups in the region. European Parliament note the ongoing humanitarian situation of hundred of thousands refugees and IDP’s and also declared the courage of the cooperation with newly emerging forces namely Syriac Military Council.
Following the fall of Mosul city and later the exodus of CSA people from the historical Nineveh Plain, the fate of the CSA people came once again on the discussions in the international spheres and in the European Parliament. CSA people made world-wide demonstrations and protests in order to show their committment to their ancestral land.
EP resolution for front international body to underline the demand of save haven in the Nineveh Plain.
« Calls upon the international coalition to do more to prevent abductions of minorities, such as the abduction of hundreds of Assyrian Christians in northern Syria; underlines the importance of ensuring a safe haven for the Chaldeans/Assyrians/Syriacs and others at risk in the Nineveh Plains, Iraq, an area where many ethnic and religious minorities have historically had a strong presence and lived peacefully alongside each other. »
On the other hand, EP encourages the cooperation with Syriac Military Council, MFS fighting against ISIS in Syria and in the Khabour region. Since three years MFS with YPG fighting ISIS in the Jazeera region in Syria. During last two weeks, MFS, YPG and Assyrian local guards continue to fight ISIS in the Khabour region in order to take full control of 35 Assyrian villages.
« Encourages the cooperation with newly emerging regional and local forces, such as the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, Kurdish groups elsewhere, such as the role of YPG in the liberation of Kobane, and the Syriac Military Council, as well as local self-governing entities in the region which have shown more commitment to human rights and democracy than their countries’ rulers; salutes, in particular, the courage of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces who have done so much to protect endangered minorities. »
Rima Tüzün, Head of Foreign Affairs and EU Affairs in the European Syriac Union, ESU welcomed EP resolution and stating the timely move from the European Parliamentarians.
« It is historical decision made by the European Parliament. More than a décade our people faces killlings, harassements, bomb attacks and massive migration. We have been uprooted from our historical homeland in the Nineveh Plain. The same situation was for our people in Syria as well. Religious leaders, political heads and our towns namely Saadad had been attacked. We have been very active to create a public around issues of our people. We organised several conferences in the EP in this regard. It is vital to see rapid implementation of the resolution. » stated Tüzün.
« Strongly condemns ISIS/Da’esh and its egregious human rights abuses that amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and which could be called genocide; is extremely concerned at this terrorist group’s deliberate targeting of Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shi’ites, Shabak, Sabeans, Kaka’e and Sunnis who do not agree with their interpretation of Islam, as part of its attempts to exterminate any religious minorities from the areas under its control; underlines that there must be no impunity for the perpetrators of these acts and that those responsible should be referred to the ICC; recalls, in this context, the unresolved kidnapping of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi by armed rebels in Aleppo Province, Syria, on 22 April 2013. » stated in the resolution.
EP resolution also stressed the dire humanitarian situation in Iraq and the fate of Christian minorities regarding difficulties they face in the refugees camps.
« Is concerned about reports of Christian minorities not having access to refugee camps in the region because they would be too dangerous for them; requests that the EU make sure its development assistance targets all minority groups displaced by the conflict; encourages the EU to use the experience and well-established networks of local and regional churches, as well as international relief organisations of churches, to provide financial and other assistance, in order to ensure that all minority groups can benefit from the protection and support of European aid. »
The European Parliament resolution is timely and historical step towards Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in Iraq and Syria and more generally in the whole Middle East. Historically, CSA people had been active contributors to the social fabric of the region. Establishment of save haven for CSA people in the Nineveh Plain is fundamental step toward future. Moreover, acceptance of Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people is unprecedented move.
Photo: Map of Kharbour region (ESU)