Monday, September 24, 2007

Another dimension to the surge in Iraq: Sectrian hatred

As if the killing and mayhem and displacement and dislocation of people in Iraq wasn't bad enough, The Independent today reports - in the light of 2 new reports, one from the Red Crescent and the other from Amnesty International - on how the so-called surge has engendered and fueled sectarian hatred in Baghdad:

"They are two Iraqi families, one Shia, the other Sunni, who once lived in what were called "mixed" neighbourhoods. Now they are among the 2 million internal refugees in the country, a vast and desperate pool of the dispossessed whose numbers have risen massively along with US troop "surge" operations.

The forced migration, called "a human tragedy unprecedented in the country's history" in the latest Iraqi Red Crescent report, has uprooted communities from homes they have occupied for decades. In Baghdad, the focus of US military action, there are a million displaced people in a population of four million.

Another two million people, according to UN estimates, have fled abroad. Amnesty International, in a report released today, identifies Britain as forcibly returning more Iraqi refugees than any other country in Europe.

But it is the internal diaspora that is causing acute problems in this fractured society, with numbers rising by 71 per cent in just one month, according to the Red Crescent."

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