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» 03/18/2010
IRAQ
Nineveh governor wants international probe into attacks against Mosul Christians and minorities
by Layla Yousif Rahema
The governor blames Kurdish militias and parties, calls for UN-EU investigation. Kurdish sources tell AsiaNews that al-Qaeda and inefficient law enforcement are to blame.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – The Governor of the Province of Nineveh has asked the United Nations and the European Union to undertake an international investigation into attacks against Iraqi minorities in his province. Atheel al-Nujaifi said violence against minorities in Nineveh, especially in the provincial capital of Mosul, had surged recently. He said Christians were being forced to flee and some of them have been killed. Other minorities like the Shebek and Yazidis are under immense pressure and targets of mounting violence, he explained.

In a letter, which he also addressed to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and to the commander of US troops in Iraq, Nujaifi said, “I would like to present before you the suffering of my people in the Province of Nineveh and particularly members of Iraqi minorities which started in the past few years and in the aftermath of 2003.”

Nujaifi points the finger at Kurdish militias and the political factions to which they belong. He said the armed Kurdish militias were in control of large areas of the province, including Mosul’s left bank.

Christians and Yazidis are being targeted as part of a plan to force them out so that their areas can be annexed to the Kurdish autonomous region, which borders Nineveh province.

“Those opposing the Kurdish agenda are persecuted, threatened, arrested and even liquidated," Nujaifi said.

Kurdish leaders have declined to comment Nujaifi’s charges, but last year a report by Human Rights Watch accused the Kurds of targeting Christians, Yazidis, Shebek and Turkmen as part of their fight with Arabs over Nineveh’s territory and resources.

Some Kurdish leaders told AsiaNews that insecurity in the Mosul area is mostly due to the presence and action of al-Qaeda militiamen, who are responsible for the targeted killing of Christians, and to the inaction and efficiency of law enforcement agencies.

In the meantime, vote counting from the 7 March election continues. After 83 per cent of the ballots were counted, al-Maliki’s coalition has retaken the lead against the nationalist alliance led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, which had surged ahead yesterday.

The State of Law Alliance leads the Iraqiya List (Iraqi National Movement), Allawi’s party, by 40,000 votes. The Iraqi National Alliance, which includes most Shia-based parties including the Sadrists, is third.


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See also
03/22/2010 IRAQ
Kirkuk: ex PM Allawi leading over Kurdish parties
by Layla Yousif Rahema
04/29/2010 IRAQ
Allawi calls for new election under UN, EU and Arab League supervision
11/11/2009 IRAQ
Kurdish guns threaten to bring a new humanitarian catastrophe to Iraqi minorities
by Layla Yousif Rahema
03/12/2008 IRAQ
Security but also a political solution for Mosul
08/16/2007 IRAQ
Ethnic cleansing first against Yazidis, soon against Christians

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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