Eight years of Nineveh plains exodus & Simele Massacre 19933

On August 6th 2014, ISIS took control of Nineveh Plains towns and villages native homeland of Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people forcing mass exodus of inhabitants, destruction of churches, monasteries, ruined and burned villages and homes. Following the ultimatum of Mosul Christians once again Christians have been displaced, uprooted and left in limbo. Long history of denial, neglect and respect for minorities also hit Assyrians of Simele town in the year of 1933, August 7th.

Following the fall of the Saddam regime in 2003 and with the political, social and security vacuum, jihadist organizations found fertile ground in the region and far mostly targeted minorities and vulnerable groups in the country. Attacks on holy places, kidnappings of religious and political figures, assassinations and harassment incessantly endangered Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrians and migration have been a forceful choice for better and secure future. With the occupation of ISIS more than one hundred people have been forced to exodus and become IDP’s primarily in KRG. While after eight years challenges remain colossal, returning back to the native lands is always in the agenda. In order to secure and free the region, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people have to obtain their self rule and autonomy in the Nineveh Plains.

On the other hand, massacres, killings and genocide are not modern phenomena in the Iraqi history to note. On August 7, 1933, newly established Iraqi state with their local allies massacres around four thousand Assyrian Christians in the town of Simele. To remember, notable Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin referred to 1915 genocide and Simele Massacre regarding his study on the term of “genocide”. As for today, Iraqi state continues to ignore any recognition of Simele massacre.

Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people of Iraq as the heirs of millennial culture, heritage and history are essential part of social fabric and contributed greatly to their securities. On this day ESU remember and honor martyrs of Simele massacre and we call on Iraqi and regional authorities to recognize Simele massacre and secure life of native inhabitants of Nineveh Plains without interference and foreign political agendas.

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