A Sit Down with the NPU in Iraq
Kaldo Ramzi Oghanna (pictured left) meets with Col. Jwad Sakarya of the NPU in Iraq
As events move ahead in Iraq for the Assyrian people, Restore Nineveh Now had a chance to speak with Kaldo Ramzi Oghanna, the official spokesman for the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) in Iraq about the progress of the NPU to date, and more importantly, what we can expect in the future.
RNN: The first few months of the creation and growth of the NPU have been busy ones, how would you characterize the progress thus far?
Ramzi: In general, I would say that things have gone very well. Yes, we have had difficulties, but that is to be expected. We are working on an historic movement, the establishment of a province for the Chaldo-Assyrian people, and this will take time and patience.
RNN: So people have a better idea of what’s coming, can you describe what’s next for the NPU?
Ramzi: Yes, absolutely. We have finished with phase one of the recruiting and training of the first NPU defensive units. As part of that phase, we would like to acknowledge the involvement of Mr. VanDyke. We are now moving on to phase two, which will involve the placement of NPU men in our communities – but this will take time too.
RNN: Since he was involved in phase one, will Mr. VanDyke continue with the next phase?
Ramzi: No, again we acknowledge his involvement in the first phase, but that involvement ended with the graduation of first group of men this past February 19, 2015. We wish Mr. VanDyke and his company SOLI all the best.
RNN: How are you funding the growth of the NPU?
Ramzi: Funding is always a challenge. But, the funding is coming from the public at large and our community in the global diaspora, and we have organizations that are working hard to advance the funding needs. We highly appreciate the role of the American Mesopotamian Organization and the global initiative Restore Nineveh Now. Working together, we will reach our goals, I am confident.
RNN: What are the long-term goals of the NPU?
Ramzi: Long-term it is our goal to continue to grow the NPU defensive force, build strong relationships with the US government and its people, and bring an awareness of the Chaldo-Assyrian cause to a wider global audience. In this way we are confident that we will succeed.
RNN: Kaldo Ramzi, thank you so much.
Ramzi: Thank you.
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