France to host displaced Iraqi Christians

ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan Following the pressure practised by al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State (IS) against the Christian minority in Iraq, the French Government issued an official statement earlier this week expressing its readiness to host Mosul’s Christians.

Militants of the Islamic State gave Mosul’s Christians the choice of either to leave the city of Mosul or stay and pay tolls or even to convert to Islam.

The French Ministers of Interior and Foreign affairs, Laurent Fabius and Bernard Kaznov, said in a joint statement: “We provide help to people who fled the Islamic State and resorted to Iraqi Kurdistan.”

“We are ready to facilitate their refuge to our country if they wanted,” French ministers said.

The French authorities also pointed out that they are in a continuous communication with the local and national authorities to guarantee Christians’ protection in Iraq.

France reportedly allocated exceptional humanitarian assistance to help the Christian minority in Iraq.

“We will continue mobilizing the International Community to guarantee the protection of those minorities as a stabilization condition in the region,” the French ministers added.

The Islamic State (which announced Caliphate in Iraqi and Syrian areas end of June, 2014) demanded commitment of women in Mosul to the Islamic dress according to Sharia, which hides the face, under threats of “punishment” in case of non-implementation.

Speaking to ARA News, Jiwan Soz, journalist responsible for the Syrian Kurdish file in the Alquds Newspaper, commented on the issue saying: “The Islamic State’s domination on most of the regions in northern Iraq is similar to what had happened in northern Syria.”

“Some regional policies and interests allowed this, aiming to divide the region into smaller states; Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish. This may lead to a sectarian war,” Soz said.

According to Soz, the international efforts differed in dealing with the Syrian refugees who fled Syria to the neighbouring countries following IS’s control in their areas.

“They live under difficult conditions without enough humanitarian assistance,” Soz said.

Soz finds the French government’s decision to host Mosul’s Christians as a humanitarian treatment in the first place.

“At the same time, it reduces the pressure on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) which already hosted many Syrians and Iraqis,” Soz told ARA News.

Soz believes that Syrian opposition figures were unable to gain any international sympathy that may benefit Syrians.

“France and other European countries should have done the same to Syrian refugees because they suffered exactly like Iraqi Christians,” he added.

The Islamic State (IS) –previously known as ISIL– held large areas in northern Iraq, which obliged many Christian families to leave Mosul to Iraqi Kurdistan and other Iraqi cities.


Reporting by: Silava Ahmed

Source: ARA News

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