One Child in Iraq (UN) & Refugee Crisis (per The Independent)

“I’m 11 years old and an only son. I’m a pupil at Mansour Primary School in Baghdad. Lately, I have been feeling very lonely in my class. This week, I was the only student in class because all my classmates didn’t come to school for various reasons. “Since last September, three of my classmates have been kidnapped and two have been killed. One was murdered with his family at home and the other was a victim of a bomb explosion a month ago.”

Iraqis abandon their homes in Middle East’s new refugee exodus

They flee because they fear for their lives. Some 3,000 Iraqis are being killed every month according to the UN. Most come from Baghdad and the centre of the country, but all of Iraq outside the three Kurdish provinces in the north is extremely violent. A detailed survey by the International Organisation for Migration on displacement within Iraq said that most people move after direct threats to their lives: “These threats take the form of abductions; assassinations of individuals or their families.” There are fewer mixed areas left in Iraq. In Baghdad, militias now feel free to use mortars to bombard each other knowing that they will not hit members of their own community. Shia and Sunni both regard themselves as victims responding to provocation. The most common destinations are Jordan and Syria which have taken 1.6 million people. At first it was the better-off who fled, including half of Iraq’s 34,000 doctors. Now it is the poor who are arriving in Amman and Damascus with little means of surviving. Only Syria has formally recognised a need for temporary protection for Iraqis. Others, including the US and UK, are loath to admit that one of the world’s great man-made disasters is taking place. The UNHCR thinks every Iraqi should qualify as a refugee because of the extraordinary level of violence in the country. “This is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world,” Kenneth Bacon, president of Refugees International told the US Senate Judiciary Committee. …. For Sunni there is no real place of safety in Iraq. In Baghdad they are being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas. Cities like Ramadi and Fallujah are partly ruined and very dangerous. Mohammed Sahib Ali, 48, a government employee, was forced out of the al-Hurriyah area by Shia militiamen. A Sunni, he took refuge in a school in Salah ad-Din province. “We are dying here,” said Ali. “Not enough food, not enough medicines. I can’t go to work and my three sons can’t attend their classes. We don’t know what to do.”

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2204094.ece

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