Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ramadi refugees

The UNHCR issued a statement today which opens:

The UN refugee agency on Tuesday reported that Iraqi civilians fleeing violence in Ramadi face numerous challenges, including dwindling resources, checkpoints, entry restrictions and security procedures to navigate on their journeys to safety.
An estimated 114,000 Iraqis have fled Ramadi, located in Iraq's restive Anbar province, over the past two weeks as conflict between government forces and extremists intensified. Of these, about 39,000 remain inside the province many unable to move further afield.

The crisis is real and is growing.

As we've already noted, Haider al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, has issued a rule that none of these refugees can enter Baghdad unless they have a "sponsor" in Baghdad.

As a US senator, Joe Biden couldn't physically split the country up but Haider's doing it in his own little way.

Despite outcry from politicians -- in Parliament and ones on the Baghdad provincial council -- and despite Haider's office implying on Saturday that the policy had ceased, it has not ceased.

And you could argue it's now much worse.

Are you an Iraqi fleeing your home because of violence in Ramadi?

Well how would you like to stay in one of the world's most notorious prisons?

That's right, Haider's said to be routing some of the refugees into Abu Ghraib prison.

Ramadi is one of the most populated cities in Anbar Province.  The other is Falluja.

Civilians in Falluja learned Haider hadn't forgotten them today.

The Iraqi military continues its 15 month and counting campaign of bombing civilians homes in Falluja.  The latest daily attack?  Iraqi Spring MC reports 1 civilians and nineteen more are injured.

Yes, these bombings are legally defined War Crimes.

Yes, Haider al-Abadi announced September 13th that they had ended.

Yes, September 14th found the bombing continuing.

As it has ever since.

In other news, the notorious Badr Brigade (thugs in a militia for the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) have declared that they don't need US air support.  As we've noted before, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of ISCI, has long been considered a friend of the US government.  His public statements recently and those of the Badr Brigade make clear that a rift has taken place.

In England, the long suppressed report from the Iraq Inquiry continues to be suppressed:

Back our campaign for the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War

The following community sites -- plus McClatchy Newspapers -- updated:



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