Mr. Yonadam Kanna, secretary general of Zowaa and Assyrian MP in
Bagdad, is telling us about the latest development in the liberation of
Mosul and the Nineveh Pains. In order the Assyrian IDPs could return to
their homes, Iraqi forces must secure the east bank of Tigris, before
anyone could think of returning. The devastation of the Assyrian towns
and villages is total. They need to be cleaned from remnants of ISIS
fighters hiding in tunnels and explosives, before the reconstruction can
As to the recent HRW report accusing Peshmerga of demolition of Arab
homes, this has not happened to Assyrian villages, he says. He also
comments the statements of Kurdish commanders that any place liberated
by Peshmerga will be included to the KRG. According to Mr. Kanna this is
already discussed before the operation of Mosul started and both Bagdad
and Arbil agreed on who was going to do what. For example Peshmerga has
withdrawn from Ba’shiqa and did not participate in the liberation of
Baghdede, he says. The future rule of the Nineveh Plains must be left to
the will of the people, Mr. Kanna says, returning the examples he gave
in previous interviews about the status of Åland, Gibraltar, Ceuta etc.
In these places the inhabitants have chosen to which country they want
to belong. But this must come when the life has returned to its normal.
It may take few years, he says.
The question of the new ID-application has not reached its final
version, he says, because the Suryani name is not included yet. Mr.
Kanna has personally complained to the ministry of Interior and the
office of the PM that either all ethnic descriptions must be removed
from the form of application, or all three names of the Assyrians
(Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac) must be included. In the ID-card itself
there will be no ethnicity mentioned, but only in a database.
As to some Assyrian clergy’s demands for a unified name as
”Christians” (suggested by the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako), Mr. Kanna
says; ”we refuse to accept it because our ethnic rights would be
vanished if we only are seen as a Christian group. In such a case our
people would not have any other rights than of fasting and praying
(sowma w slotha). Since five years 13 Assyrian political parties and
organizations agreed to a combined name of the Assyrian nation. That is
ChaldeanSyriacAssyrian. And we don’t need such a discussion now. What we
need is to resist the difficulties and stay in our ancestral lands in
order to maintain our roots here”, he concludes.