NINEVEH PLAIN: Iraqi PM special advisor on indigenous components visits Syriac district mayor of Baghdede

BAGHDEDE, Nineveh Plain – District mayor Cisam Behnam Matti of the Syriac Baghdede district in the Nineveh Plain, on Sunday, received the newly appointed advisor on indigenous and religious components Safaa Hind. Syriac Chaldean Safaa Hind is president of the Chaldean League and was only appointed earlier this month as advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister al-Khadimi. The two Syriacs discussed matters of communal representation and demography, and Safaa Hind was informed about finished and pending reconstruction projects in the Baghdede district (Qaraqosh).

According to their press statement, Safaa Hind was informed about the situation and the number of returned families to Baghdede, the difficulties they face, and the obstacles keeping families who are still displaced from resettling in the Nineveh Plain. Mayor Cisam Behnam Matti and advisor Safaa Hind jointly stressed the importance of unity and coexistence of different indigenous components in the Baghdede district and the upholding of civil rights. The process through dialogue of asserting all components’ rights, in all their rich particularities, in equality with all other peoples of the country and in accordance with the Iraqi constitution is most important.

The meeting was attended by among others the Baghdede district chief of police, the director of the security forces of the Nineveh Plain, the Baghdede municipality director, and the responsible person for the security of the churches in the Nineveh Plain officer Fares Ablahad Zaki.

The appointment of two Syriac Chaldeans, Safaa Hind as advisor on indigenous components and Evan Faeq Jabro as Minister of Immigration and Displacement, seems to be positive public statement by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khahdimi of the importance of constitutional rights for indigenous components in Iraq. And that it is a sign that it is one of the priorities of his cabinet.

However, whether this will bring real concrete change on short notice and concrete actions as curbing the influence and interference of Popular Mobilization Units and the Peshmerga in the Nineveh Plain, stopping the demographic change and creating a secure and stable environment for e.g. Yezidi and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian IDPs to return, remains to be seen.