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Entries for January 2007

Chaldean Refugees Trapped in Mexico & U.N. Calling for Aid
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Monterrey, MEXICO – Chaldeans forced to leave Iraq have few choices.  As Christians in a country that continues to embrace radical Islam Chaldeans are fleeing by the hundred thousands.  Rafid Bedou, frustrated and angry says, “What choices do we have?  If we stay in Iraq they rape and torture our daughters and kill our sons.  Iraq is turning into a living hell.” 
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Tariq Aziz Begs To Live in Rome
By Rita Abro :: 24 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Rome, ITALY - Tariq Aziz, who served as deputy prime minister of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, has issued a plea to the Italian government and the Vatican for permission to live in Rome while he awaits trial on human-rights charges.

Giovanni DiStefano, an Italian lawyer for the former Iraqi official, explained that his client would like the Italian government and/or the Vatican to guarantee that he will appear to appear when his case is ready for trial. DiStefano said that he is asking the Iraqi court to release Aziz on bail.

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Chaldean Seminary and Theological University Moved and Inaugurated
By Ziad Bitti :: 23 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Ankawa, IRAQ– A century old seminary has been forced to leave Baghdad.  Under pressure of violence and continual attacks the Chaldean Seminary and Theological University was forced to close.  Baghdad stands as the center of the civil strife in Iraq between violent Muslim Shi’ite and Sunni groups.  Christians in the region have been forced to leave Baghdad after numerous killings, kidnappings, and torture of community leaders.  As the capital of Iraq is being emptied of its Christians, property and land is being stolen by Sunni and Shi’ite militias.

Erbil’s Chaldean bishop, Mgr Rabban al-Qas, said that the doors to the Chaldean Major Seminary and Babel College, Iraq’s only theological faculty run by the Chaldean Church, have reopened in Kurdistan after shutting down because of the growing insecurity in the Iraq. The two institutions were in fact officially inaugurated last Thursday after moving from Baghdad to Ankawa, near Erbil, in Kurdistan.

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US Criticized for Continuing to Abandon Iraqi Refugees
By Rita Abro :: 19 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA - The United States continues to come under criticism by humanitarian groups for ignoring their responsibility in providing for up to 3 million Iraqis displaced from their homes.  American reputation and leadership continues to plummet among international leaders after continuing allegations of an illegal war against Iraq and ignoring the humanitarian crisis aftermath. 

Echoing former US president Fords implication that the US may be liable for taking unfounded preemptive military action against Iraq, calls for a war tribunal against the US increases across the globe

Aid organizations report a rapidly mounting crisis of refugees inside Iraq and in neighboring countries as thousands flee sectarian violence every day. The United Nations estimates that there are more than 1.5 million Iraqis displaced within the country and a similar number living as refugees in Jordan, Syria and elsewhere.

The Michigan based Chaldean Federation of America (CFA) has been working tirelessly with US legislators to bring to light the crisis and need for support.  The CFA has expressed positive working relations with legislatures like Democrat Senator Carl Levin but continues to run into obstacle after obstacle dealing with the State Department or White House administration. 

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Spiraling Sectarian Violence in Irqq - Not Random
By Ziad Bitti :: 11 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Like other minority members in Iraq, Mardon Matrood, a 44-year-old Assyrian shopkeeper in Baghdad, has had enough of the country's sectarian violence.

"Minorities in Iraq are targeted by insurgents and militias, who want us out of the country as they promote what they call the 'cleansing of Iraq, of non-Muslim communities'," said Matrood who is living with his family of six in an abandoned government building.

Four months ago Matrood's family failed to pay a ransom of US $50,000 to kidnappers who had abducted his nephew. The nephew was later found dead.

"We are a poor family.  We couldn't pay [the ransom money] and after two weeks we were informed that the police had found his body near a mosque in Adhamiyah district (northern Baghdad). It was totally mangled, burned and tortured," Matrood said.

Spiraling sectarian violence has threatened the decades-long peaceful coexistence in Iraq between members of different religions, sects and tribes. Now Sunni and Shi'ite extremists are targeting minorities in a bid to force them out of the country.

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