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Iraqi Parliament Rejects New Provinces for Yazidis and Assyrians
By Baxtiyar Goran
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Displaced Iraqi Assyrians settle at St. Joseph Church in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. ( AP)
The Iraqi Parliament voted in favor of maintaining the administrative border of the province of Nineveh on Monday. The Iraqi parliament held the session with the presence to discuss several laws, including the vote to maintain the administrative border of the Nineveh province. The parliament vote was requested by Ahmed al-Jarba, a Sunni MP, representing Nineveh province. "The Iraqi people reject any decision that partitions the Nineveh province. The people of the city determine the destiny of their city in the post-Islamic State (IS) stage," al-Jabra said. Al-Jabra added that any changes against the legal and administrative status quo will be unconstitutional. This decision by the Iraqi parliament is against the demand of the components of Nineveh, especially Yazidis and Christians who ask for turning Shingal, mostly Yazidi-populated area, and Nineveh Plain, majority Christian populated area, into new provinces. Viyan Dakhil, a Kurdish Yazidi MP in the Iraqi parliament told Kurdistan24 on Monday that Kurdish Yazidis will not return to the evacuated city of Shingal without changes in the administration of Nineveh Province. Dakhil noted some ethnic and religious groups in Nineveh are demanding changes in the administration of the province and want to create separate provinces. The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani previously stated the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would promote the city of Shingal to a province in the Region. Nineveh Plains should be liberated from the Islamic State (IS) and Christians' rights and future shall be secured, a Christian political party leader told Kurdistan24. Romio Hakkari, the Secretary-General of the Assyrian Bet al-Nahrain Party who visited Washington to gain the US support in liberating Christian areas in the province of Nineveh located in northern Iraq which is often called "Nineveh Plains." In June 2014, IS emerged in Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. The group controlled large swaths of territory in the northern country, including Christian populated areas that according to Hakkari displaced about 200,000 Christians, mostly are staying in the Kurdistan Region. "We do not want to be part of the possible Sunni autonomous region in Iraq," Hakkari stated, claiming the Sunnis in Nineveh discriminate against Christians in the area.

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