September 2012 | Olive Branch Post by USIP Staff
The USIP Baghdad Office (BDO) earlier this month hosted a meeting between USIP President- select Jim Marshall, Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management Abiodun Williams, and members from the Network of Iraqi Facilitators (NIF) and Alliance of Iraqi Minorities (AIM). USIP is supporting efforts by NIF and AIM members to defuse escalating conflicts between minority groups residing within the disputed internal boundaries of the Ninawa governorate in northern Iraq.
Continuing conflicts between Shabak Muslims and Christians can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as job opportunities and public services, which spurred some Shabaks to migrate into the historically Christian enclave of Bartella. As more and more Shebaks migrated from the countryside into the urbanized Bartella, Christians feared a demographic shift that could threaten their way of life, especially their religious rituals and traditions.