Bundestag debates on arms deliveries to Iraq:,The Yezidis, Christians and Kurds need our help!

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The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) sends a call to all members of the German Bundestag to help protect Iraqi Kurdistan. “Given the deadly threat of the ‘barbarians of the 21st century’, the multi-ethnic and multi-religious region of northern Iraq must not be left alone,” said Tilman Zülch, the STP’s General Secretary, in Göttingen said Monday. “Since the beginning of June, at least 500,000 Yezidis, Christian Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans, Shabak and as well as Sunni, Shiite and Kakai Kurds have become displaced due to the terror of the Islamist group IS. Thousands were killed or abducted. Many non-Muslims were forced to convert to the ‘true Islam’. Many Yezidi girls were enslaved and sold. All these peaceful peoples’ hope lies on Germany, hope that Berlin will decide to help. They must not simply be left to their fate. The Bundestag must send a strong signal and demand active help to stop the incipient genocide against the Yezidis, Christians and other minorities. Any help to protect the civilian population of Iraqi Kurdistan is welcome, including weapons and other military equipment.” Also, the many refugees are in urgent need of more humanitarian supplies.

Zülch stated that the arguments for not wanting to deliver weapons to the Kurds, mainly because they could use them to fight for their independence, are to be seen as absurd and pretextual. Due to the threatening situation and in the light of the inability of the central government in Baghdad to protect the civilian population, it is mandatory to support the regular security forces of Iraqi Kurdistan and the self-defense forces of the minority groups – even if this leads to a struggle for independence.

After decades of genocidal persecution under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein with at least 200,000 victims, Germany must now advocate for a free and independent state of Iraqi Kurdistan – provided that the Kurdish regional government will allow the displaced Yezidis, Christians, Shabak and other minorities in Sinjar and the Nineveh plains to establish a regional self-government.

The STP also emphasizes that the Kurds and Christians in northern Syria, who have been trying to cope with the attacks of extremist forces on their own for at least two years, need support too. The German federal government should provide help for the three self-governing cantons of Afrin, Kobani and Cizira in the north of the country. Apart from the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, there are now also about 30,000 Yazidis who have found refuge in the northern Iraqi Sinjar region. There is not enough help for the region due to the blockade tactics of the regime in Damascus, the Turkish government and the pro-Western Syrian opposition.

Tilman Zülch is available for further questions: +49 (0)151 – 153 09 888

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Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples
P.O. Box 20 24 – D-37010 Göttingen/Germany

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