ASIA/IRAQ – Support and hypothesis of compensation for Christian refugees and Yazidi refugees in Kurdistan

07/27/2020 Iraq Erbil (Agenzia Fides) – The precarious condition of Christian and Yazidi refugees still displaced in the territories of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan was at the center of the talks held on Sunday 26 July in Erbil between the Iraqi minister of immigrants and IDPs, Chaldean Christian Evan Faeq Yakoub Jabro, and the President of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, the Kurdish Nechirvan Idris Barzani.

During the meeting – reads a report released by the Presidency of Kurdistan – the measures put in place to protect refugees from the coronavirus pandemic were examined, together with the projects launched to encourage the return of refugees to their original rooted areas, starting from the Nineveh Plain. In this regard, the Minister and the President of the Kurdistan Region, during their conversation, referred to forms of compensation to be proposed to Christians and Yazidis to encourage their return to the areas of origin, from which they had fled in 2014 in the face of advancing jihadist militias from the self-styled Islamic State (Daesh).

Minister Evan Jabro confirmed her intention to counteract the projects of those who want to take advantage of the migratory movements and mass escapes of Christians and Yazidis recorded during the jihadist occupation to permanently alter the demographic balance of the area and cancel the multi-ethnic and multi-religious profile of the Nineveh Plain.

The condition of former Christian refugees who have already returned to Mosul and the Iraqi Province of Nineveh was also the focus of a new meeting between Minister Evan Jabro and the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Dominican Najib Mikhael Moussa.

In the Nineveh governorate, the situation remains uncertain and tense also because it is characterized by the coexistence of armed forces of different backgrounds, including popular Shiite militias and Kurdish Peshmerga mobilization.

Professor Evan Jabro, as previously reported by Fides (see Fides, 8/6/2020), became minister for migrants and refugees in the government of Iraqi Premier Mustafa al-Kadhimi on 6 June. Previously, Evan Jabro worked with the NGO Al-Firdaws, founded by Fatima Al-Bahadly in 2003, and committed to developing social and work projects aimed primarily at women and young people. The new minister also held the role of adviser to the Governor of Mosul on minority issues. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 27/7/2020)