Recently by initiative of the Assyria Foundation, the Netherlands, a delegation from Europe went to Iraq to discuss the alarming situation of the Assyrians with politicians, government officials, ministers and NGOs in Baghdad and Arbil.
During their fieldwork mission, focus was on the following points:
The security situation of Iraqi Assyrians in their own residential area, the Nineveh plains, is deplorable. There are no checkpoints and no police is visible. This not only creates an unsafe feeling; the actual everyday life is lacking proper security.
During ISIS presence, many houses, churches and roads have been destroyed. The reconstruction happens on the initiative of the inhabitants and no budget is made available to the Assyrian region. The national government will have to earmark funds to the Nineveh plains, in order to take the issues of the inhabitants seriously and have them gain perspective for a hopeful future.
Education and healthcare sectors must improve. Support the Nineveh University, to protect the Assyrian language from further threats.
A hospital is necessary for the everyday and intensive medical care of Nineveh civilians.
To give the people hope and to be recognized, it is necessary to recognize the genocides that residents of the Nineveh plains have experienced: 1915 Sayfo, 1933 Simele and 2014 ISIS.
- Protection of history and heritage
There is an urgent need for the protection of Assyrian heritage in Nineveh, Nimrud, Arbil and Babylon. The Assyrians at the time of antique Assyria constructed sights such as the walls of Nineveh, the castle in Arbil, the castles of Nimrud and Babylon.
These are the treasures of antiquity, and they are neither taught nor preserved.
The delegation spoke to Assyrian political parties as well, who are seen by the Assyrians in Iraq as their spokespersons. They too have shared alarming messages with the delegation. As far as they are concerned, a political and cultural genocide is now taking place in Iraq.
In the appendix one finds the delegation’s report, a summary of the conversations the delegation held in Iraq in May 2023.