Caritas condemns ongoing violence in Iraq before the elections
04 March 2010
Civilians in Iraq continue to suffer deadly violence on a daily basis as the country marks seven years since the start of the US-led military operations.
Caritas Iraq beneficiaries come from different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds, giving them a rare opportunity to mix, get to know and understand each other.
Caritas says that religious and ethnic minorities are facing the brunt of attacks and urges the Iraqi government to improve security ahead of the national election on 7 March.
Caritas notes that the rivalries and political upheavals mainly affect civilians, especially religious and ethnic minorities.
Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis Lesley-Anne Knight said, “Peace remains elusive in Iraq seven years after the US-led military operations began. Civilians are still suffering from bombings, kidnappings and other acts of violence. Religious and ethnic minorities feel particularly vulnerable.
“Violence has been escalating up to elections this weekend. We urge all sides to respect the democratic process and for the international community to do all it can to help foster improved security.
“Caritas Iraq with the support of Caritas members in Middle East and internationally are working to bring communities together through grassroots peace-building activities. The Caritas Iraq staff and 300 volunteers are a courageous symbol that a different Iraq based on peace is possible.”
On Wednesday, three suicide bombers killed at least 31 people and injured more than 55 others in Baqouba, north of Baghdad. Daily bombings and shootings have created an atmosphere of anxiety, fear and tension among the Iraqis according to Caritas staff.
More than 4,000 Christians had to recently leave Mosul , the second largest city in Iraq, after receiving threats. Eight Christians have been killed in the city in the past two weeks, solely for their beliefs.
Caritas continues to operate in Iraq under very difficult conditions. Its help is desperately needed. Caritas efforts in Iraq stand for integration and peaceful conflict resolution as much as for humanitarian aid.
In its centres all across Bagdad and the north and south of the country, Caritas helps people with no regard to their different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds, giving them a rare opportunity to mix, get to know and understand each other. Read a day in the life of Caritas Iraq
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