Our Policy: The Nineveh Plain Province Solution . . .

ninevehplain1.jpgOur current policy agenda focuses on securing the right of all Assyrians, including Chaldeans and Syriacs, to live and protect themselves in Iraq’s Nineveh Plains, the center of the ancestral Assyrian homeland.

Specificially, we are seeking U.S. Government endorsement of the Nineveh Plain Province Solution, the development of a new, separate province in the Nineveh Plain under the central, federal Government of Iraq. The slow genocide of Assyrians now sits at the tipping point to ethnic destruction. The silence of the United States of the impending full genocide of Assyrians must end. Given the acceleration of this tragic crisis in the wake of the war that we started, we demand that our government offer political support in its dealings with the Government of Iraq in favor of the Nineveh Plain Province Solution and must provide direct financial assistance in the amount of $128 million for security and infrastructure development in the Nineveh Plain in order to pull Assyrians back from the tipping point to full genocide.

Already, six hundred thousand Christian Assyrians, approximately half of Iraq’s pre-war population, has fled the country. The flight has only accelerated since the October 31st massacre of 56 congregants and 2 priests at the Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad last year. Without aggressive American intervention, the Christian Assyrian community is on the verge of overt genocide or exodus on a scale unknown in modern times, potentially 1.2 million refugees in a span of a decade. Once gone from Iraq, Assyrians will never be able to return. The fabric, culture, and politics of Iraq and the Middle-East will be forever transformed, and as Assyrians in diaspora slowly assimilate into new cultures, the world loses an enduring Biblical culture.

A consensus has emerged in the Christian Assyrian, including Chaldean and Syriac, community that the only effective solution for the indigenous Assyrian people to remain in Iraq is the creation of new province in the Nineveh Plain, the heart of the ancestral Assyrian homeland. Today, this land is shared with a multitude of other indigenous minorities as well as Arabs and Kurds. Local control would allow for these indigenous people to gain a stable foothold within the country from which they could sustain, develop, and grow a base population in a secure and stable environment. This Nineveh Plain Province Solution is consistent with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, which has been recently endorsed by the United States.

The development of a robust federal structure that promotes effective and legitimate democracy in Iraq is clearly in the direct interests of the United States. Without a Nineveh Plain Province Solution, Christian Assyrians, including Chaldeans and Syriacs, will continue to flee the country, and eventually the moderating force they present in Iraq and the Middle-East will be lost. As Christian refugees are unwelcome in neighboring countries, Assyrians fleeing Iraq will eventually seek resettlement in the West. The United States and its Western partners can hardly afford nor absorb the mass resettlement of hundreds of thousands of Assyrian refugees. Thus, it is imperative and of vital American interest that the United States take leadership to end this Assyrian crisis that threatens the long-term stability of Iraq and the Middle-East.

For a full description of the Nineveh Plain Province Solution, click here.

Briefly, the Solution proposes a logical 3 Phase approach focused on governance, economic development, and security:

Phase 1

Governance: Support for community dialogue and empowerment as well as parliamentary consideration of the Nineveh Plain Province ($3 million requested).

Economic Development: Support for development of a university ($36 million), hospital ($42 million), and basic infrastructure development ($47 million) in the Nineveh Plain.

Security: Increase Nineveh Plain Police Force to 5000 with replacement of all officers not from the Nineveh Plain (costs borne by Government of Iraq).

Total cost: $128 million.

Phase 2

Governance: Training and capacity building for referendum on the Nineveh Plain Province.

Economic Development: Large scale industry development as well as support for small and medium enterprise development.

Security: Development of judicial system in the Nineveh Plain including locally derived recruitment of Chief Magistrates.

Total cost: To be determined.

Phase 3

Governance: Government capacity building for Nineveh Plain Province representatives and administrators.

Economic Development: Promotion of trade between the U.S. Government and U.S. private sector and emerging industry in the Nineveh Plain.

Security: Enlargement of the Nineveh Plain Police Force with advanced training as well as expansion of indigenous minority recruitment into the Iraqi National Police Force and Special Forces Units.
Total cost: To be determined.