Catholic World News

Congressman calls for safe haven for Iraqi Christians

September 14, 2016

A Nebraska congressman has introduced a resolution calling for a semi-autonomous Nineveh Plain province that would serve as a safe haven for Iraqi Christians.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s resolution would express “the sense of Congress that the United States and the international community should support the Republic of Iraq and its people to recognize a province in the Nineveh Plain region, consistent with lawful expressions of self-determination by its indigenous peoples.”

In a related development, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako issued an appeal to world leaders to help remove land mines from the region of the Nineveh Plains, making it possible for refugees who fled from the area to return to their homes as the Islamic State retreats. The Chaldean prelate reported that Islamic State forces are laying new mines as they pull back from the Nineveh Plains. He said that a "great humanitarian project" would be required to help refugees return to their homes, along with the military offensive that is planned to recapture the city of Mosul and its surroundings. 

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 14, 2016 3:56 PM ET USA

    It's about time that a politician comes up with a good idea. But is it just a platitude? In other words, who will supply the military force needed to protect this province from attack by all sides? How is it possible for a safe haven of self-determination to exist when it is surrounded by regimes that exist to repress their own people? Even if the Iraqi government would agree to it, who would have its back? Both Obama and Clinton have sworn to NOT allow ground troops in Iraq. But what of Trump?