MARCH 12, 2003
in the Wilderness
Kathy Kelly or Ed Kinane, Iraq Peace Team: (+964-1)
718-8007 or 717-7440 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Jeff Guntzel or Stephanie Schaudel, Voices in the Wilderness:
773-784-8065 or 773-793-0952 firstname.lastname@example.org
UN Evacuates From Iraq, Peaceworkers Vow to
- March 12 - From its tent encampment across the road from the
Canal Hotel UN Compound - beginning at 6:30AM, Wednesday, March
12 - the Iraq Peace Team (IPT), with deep regret, bid farewell
to departing United Nations staff. While weapons inspectors and
UN senior staff remain in Baghdad, the vast majority of international
staff were involuntarily evacuated by the UN from Iraq on Wednesday.
The Team posted
signs saying, "Farewell UN. Please advise: Who will protect Iraq's
children?" As UN vehicles departed, the Team lined the road bearing
enlarged photos of Iraqi children and civilians.
UN personnel's involuntary departure, twenty IPT members asserted
their intent to remain in Iraq for the duration of hostilities.
The UN departure signals the imminent escalation of the military
attack on the Iraqi people. It is such an attach that Voices in
the Wilderness, IPT's Chicago-based parent organization, has been
working since 1996 to avert.
IPT and Voices
in the Wilderness co-founder, Kathy Kelly, declared, "We are shocked
by the involuntary evacuation of UN workers here in Iraq. It is
deeply disturbing to everyone everywhere who honors the UN Charter
- a Charter which pledges to eliminate the scourge of war."
"The Iraqi people have been dependent on the international community
during these long years of sanctions, siege and bombing. It was
a forced dependency, but nevertheless they are now more abandoned
than ever. We dread the coming carnage."
and long-time UNICEF volunteer, Cynthia Banas, of Vernon, New
York said, "We believe that we are our brothers' and sisters'
keepers, and we choose to stay. Many of us come from faith-based
backgrounds that urge works of mercy rather than works of war."
Peace Team in Baghdad consists mostly of US citizens, but also
includes members from Canada, Australia, Ireland and South Korea.
All IPT members are committed to active Nonviolence.
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