“We need International Protection for the Assyrian People”
During his stay in Germany (07-26-2014 to 07-30-2014), the chairman of the Assyria Patriotic Movement (APM), Ashur Giwargis, also visited the Federal Foreign Ministry in Berlin 07-29-2014. In a meeting with the officials he explained the present situation of the Assyrian people between ISIS (Islamic State In Iraq and Syria) and the Kurds, as well as the necessity of International protection. He pointed out that it is not just a religious but an Assyrian national issue as well. In that meeting, Giwargis frankly criticised Germany for the absence of its sharp stands regarding what’s happening to the Christians in Syria and Iraq.
Augsburg/Berlin - One hour before our flight to Berlin I meet Ashur Giwargis, the leader of “Assyria Patriotic Movement” (founded 2012 in Lebanon) at Munich Airport, a man with principles and a strong will. He is impressing with his quiet kind of speaking and his delightful charisma. He tells me about the background of his movement, its goals and structure as well as the efforts of APM to bring the Assyrian cause to the world.
I asked him about his plans for the meeting with the Federal Foreign Ministry, the matters he wants to speak about. Kurdish land grabs and the situation of the Assyrian people in their occupied homeland Assyria, the genocide committed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq as well as the necessity to get international protection for the Assyrians are the points of most importance for him; and the possibility for the Assyrians to return to their homelands as a national unity with their proper land, they were the owners before the Kurdish and Arab occupations.
The Assyrians are the indigenous people of Assyria, Iraq. They are now widespread to lots of countries worldwide, alone 130.000 in Germany, nearly the same number in Sweden, and the tendency is uprising.
Until now the Assyrians are forced to leave their homes, they are suffering not only from threatening by Islamists but also losing their lands and property to the Kurds, who are trying to gain the trust of the world, seeming to save the Christians in giving them residential rights, but not allowing them to defend themselves in building their own armed forces.
Islamization and Kurdification are the most problems through the history. Together with the appearance of ISIS the Assyrians are now facing a new period of genocide. From Kurdish side it’s a silent, polite and democratic one in the world eyes, from the side of ISIS a cruel and deadly one.
“Of course the Christians are very welcome by the Kurdish government, because they want to show the world the difference between the prudent Islamic persecution and Kurdish [sweet] demographic genocide” the APM-chairman says.
Since 1919 there is a permanent occupation from Assyrian lands by the Kurds, but the biggest problems came in the 1960s with the Kurdish revolution. Ashur Giwargis has a paper in his hands, showing all the details of these land grabs, a paper that names the real owners before the Kurdish occupation. And now the situation is repeating. The genocide is committed by ISIS, the land grabs again by the Kurds but this time in another form, with the Iraqi government supervising this, accordingly with the kurdo-islamic constitution of Iraq, as Giwargis calls it..
The situation in Syria is not better at all. The Assyrians left their villages, about 35 in North-East of Syria and the Kurds who are fighting with ISIS and other Islamic organizations are preparing to occupy them under a new “Kurdistan”. Ashur Giwargis points out that Assyrians (including Chaldeans and Orthodox Syrians) are the real owner of the land and they do not want any separation from Syria..
For him the solution is not by encouraging the migration of the Assyrian people from their ancestral homeland, but there must be another political intervention to give the Assyrian Nation a chance for self preservation in the world community.
For APM it is important not to keep the Assyrians in Europe and abroad but to prepare a chance for return, and this will not be possible without the international protection that must be enforced in Iraq.
By Marianne Brückl