Mgr Sako dénonce la nouvelle vague de violence qui a frappé "les villes de Ninive"
Mar Sako denounces the new wave of violence that has hit « the towns of Nineveh. » Many residents have fled and breathe a « renewed atmosphere of anxiety and fear ». Kurdish President Barzani announces his retirement. And he charges Baghdad, Washington and internal opponents, guilty of treason.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – The referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan has triggered a new wave of violence investing the « Christian citizens of Nineveh plain. » The result is that « many inhabitants » have « fled », creating a « renewed atmosphere of anxiety and fear », which will eventually « give rise to new divisions and prevent the reconstruction and return of people to their homes,” stresses the Chaldean primate Louis Raphael Sako, in an appeal published on the patriarchate website and sent to AsiaNews. In the letter, the leader of the Iraqi Church does not hide the danger that this further conflict, on a land already marked by suffering, may give rise to « further migration » of Christians.
In a growing tension, the 71-year-old Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani announced his resignation as President of Kurdistan, shortly ahead of the expiration of the mandate scheduled for November 1st. He says he will not look for another term and launches a harsh accusation against the United States and a part of the Kurdish parliament. Barzani reproaches Washington for having already forgotten the Peshmerga’s fundamental support in the fight against the Islamic State in Mosul and other areas of Iraq.
He is the main promoter and builder of the referendum for independence, in response to which regular Iraqi troops launched an offensive in the territories – including Kirkuk – controlled by the Kurds. In an intervention broadcast on Kurdish TV, he said he wanted to continue « to be a Peshmerga in the ranks of the Kurdish people, who will always defend the victories of the Kurds. » Barzani also accused the Baghdad government of violating the truce and the constitution by occupying Kirkuk with force. And he did not spare his criticism – but without explicit references – of the rivals of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union for the « betrayal » that led to the loss of Kirkuk (and its oil wells, an essential resource for Erbil).
In a framework of tension and violence, the Iraqi Church has again attempted to invite the parties to dialogue « by analyzing the situation and trying to solve all outstanding issues with a renewed spirit of courage and full responsibility, looking to the good of the country » . Here is the letter of appeal from the Chaldean Patriarch sent to AsiaNews.