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We shouldn’t leave the persecuted Christians and Yazidis, behind.

By Ezidi 24

The American Conservative website has published an article under the title entitled“We Have Unfinished Business in Iraq” by Jeffrey Lane Fortenberry, a Representative for Nebraska and a member of the Republican Party.

There can be no closure if we leave the persecuted Christians, and minorities like the Yazidi, behind.

“Sometimes decisions in government really are about life and death. The other night in my Washington office, I stood in front of framed photos of young servicemen and women from Nebraska who had died in Iraq—some of their families I know, some I have never met. We’ve both given and lost so much already in that part of the world that it’s hard to understand why further engagement in Iraq is necessary. But there’s still work to be done, especially for ethno-religious minorities”, Ssaid Jeffrey

He also referenced the hard harsh reality for 400,000 Yazidis from Northern Iraq are still trapped in tent structures, unable to safely return home. In addition, Iraq used to be home to over 1.5 million Christians—today, only 250,000 hold on remain. Post-ISIS, Iranian-backed militias are now threatening the return of those Christians across large areas of Northern Iraq.

Jeffrey also praised the Yazidi community members who are living in Nebraska, and their commitment to education and willingness to learn. He gives an example of courage of the Yazidi girl Nibras Khudaida.” I first met Nibras over two years ago in Lincoln, after she wrote me a passionate letter in broken English. After serving as an intern in my office, Nibras went on to become a high school debate champion and give her class commencement address. She is now an honors student at Omaha’s Creighton University.”

Jeffrey has recently told a Washington Post reporter that the most important need for Northern Iraq was a security settlement to protect ethno-religious minorities. Upon Nadia’s arrival, and with no advance coordination from me, Nadia affirmed that same conclusion.

In pursuit of that goal, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Democrat of California, and Jeffrey recently introduced the bipartisan H. Res. 259, informally known as ‘The Security Resolution for Northern Iraq’, which lays out the following:

-Makes it a policy priority of the United States to support the safe return of the displaced indigenous people of the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar to their ancestral homeland

-Calls upon the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government to better integrate religious minorities into the Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga

-Stresses the importance of working with international partners to accomplish these goals.

The Security Resolution for Northern Iraq represents a modest commitment with enormous implications. Jeffrey is optimistic, saying” I am hopeful that Congress will agree.”

“If this Iraqi-led security settlement does not come to fruition, Iranian-backed militias will continue to meddle in Northern Iraq, religious and ethnic minorities will continue their mass exodus to Europe, and permanent refugee camps will dot the landscape.’

At the end of his article Jeffrey said “Nothing will ever compensate for the tremendous loss of life and limb that Americans endured to ensure that Iraq could have a glimpse of normalcy, a glimmer of possibility, a chance for permanent peace. Carrying out this last duty is not going to fill the holes in their families’ hearts. It will, however, help provide closure to America’s decades-long involvement in Iraq, all while ensuring stability and justice for the oppressed, and the preservation of Iraq’s rich tapestry of religious pluralism so essential for peace in the Middle East.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is the U.S. Representative for Nebraska’s 1st congressional district, a post he has filled since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is based in Lincoln and includes most of the eastern third of the state outside the immediate Omaha area.

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