Christian Peacemakers document destruction of Iraqi village life

By agency reporter
February 23, 2010

Christian Peacemaker Teams, which intervenes nonviolently in situations of conflict and confrontation across the world, yesterday released a 54-page report detailing the destruction of northern Iraqi village life by Turkish and Iranian attacks over the past two years. CPT is calling for an end to this damage to civilian life.

This report documents the impact of an intermittent war waged on an isolated civilian population, the historical context in which the current warfare is occurring, and the international legal implications of decisions taken by various militaries engaged in acts of violence against a vulnerable civilian population in an already vulnerable and war-torn country.

In issuing the report, Christians Peacemaker Teams declares that it "calls for an immediate cease fire between Turkey and the PKK on the one hand and Iran and PJAK on the other, as well as the resumption of peace talks between the government of Turkey and representatives of the PKK."

A spokesperson continued: "Absent a genuine peace among and between Turkey, Iran, and their native Kurdish populations, the war they are waging and have waged for decades, will continue to spill into the mountains of northern Iraq. The villagers of northern Iraq, largely farmers and shepherds, are the focus of this report."

The evidence, CPT says, is primarily anecdotal, but compelling, nevertheless: regional and world powers, rebel groups and their own government, have dismissed the villagers, their lives, their futures, their lands, their children, as irrelevant to the so-called 'larger' agendas of the parties involved.

For the past eight years, CPT-Iraq has documented human rights abuses in various contexts, including prisoner/detainee abuse and systematic torture by the United States military and the Iraqi Army and Police.

Christian Peacemaker Teams, a faith-based violence reduction non-governmental organisation, has had a presence in Iraq since late 2002, first in the south and then in the northern Kurdish region.

See the full report here: (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat file for viewing or download)


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