01/26/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – On Saturday, the governors of two Christian towns in Iraq’s Nineveh Plains warned that a lack of basic life necessities are causing citizens to relocate back to or remain in the Kurdish Regional Governorate.
Isam Bahnam, who governors the provinces al-Hamdaniya district, specifically pointed to a lack of water, electricity, and employment as reasons why people in his district are choosing not to live there any longer. Additionally, he shared with Kurdistan 24 News that “the district has been turned into a military base where a large number of forces exist.” This has led to a sense of insecurity in the area.
Basim Balo, Tel Keppe’s governor, shared similar concerns. He pointed to how the number of para-military checkpoints in the province cause difficulties for residents, and their worry is a deterrence to residents who were otherwise considering returning.
The Christians of the Nineveh Plains were displaced by ISIS (the Islamic State) in 2014. The militants swept across the region, specifically targeting religious minorities for genocide. The militants were officially declared defeated in 2017. The damage done to the region in the ensuing war left behind millions of dollars of a damage, and the lives of all who lived in the area before completely change. Many continue to struggle with the consequences of displacement.