05/02/2016, 13.48
IRAQ
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Mar Sako appeals to politicians to stop divisions, focus on shared plans for Iraq’s rebirth

by Louis Raphael Sako*

The Chaldean Patriarch sends a tough rebuke against the country’s rulers, who have failed to promote reforms and reconciliation, calling for action against Iraq’s “institutional, economic and security deterioration”. As Green Zone protest ends, government’s wrath begins.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Iraqi politicians must adopt "wisdom and quietness” to breathe life into "true reconciliation" to end the country’s “institutional, economic and security deterioration”. Iraq has had enough "disunion and dispersion" when "millions are dying from poverty and diseases,” said Mar Raphael Louis Sako in a letter sent to AsiaNews for wider circulation.

In his missive, the Chaldean patriarch appeals to the government and to parliament without mincing his words against their members at such a dramatic moment in the country’s life.

Over the weekend, thousands of protesters, supporters of Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, occupied part of Baghdad’s Green Zone – where government ministries and foreign embassies are concentrated – to protest the lack of reforms and political inaction. During the protest, which saw protesters storm parliament, many buildings were seriously damaged.

In response, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has tried for weeks to form a cabinet of experts, ordered the Ministry of Interior to prosecute those among the protesters who had attacked security forces, lawmakers and damaged state property.

Speaking recently to AsiaNews about his country’s political and institutional situation, the Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Mgr Shlemon Warduni, said that Iraq had reached a “low point” in its history, although "we cannot say that we have reached the bottom" because "the situation could get worse."

Mar Sako’s letter to Iraq’s leaders follow.

Appeal to Iraqi politicians

We call upon you, with a saddened heart and sorrow because of what is happening in Iraq and because the people are suffering from violence, poverty and misery!

You are all aware of the failure of government institutions, of the disruption of the law, of delayed solutions and essential reforms demanded by people.

All of this is a result of the divided political scene, of the failure to achieve real national reconciliation, as well as the conflict of interests and ambitions that has been demonstrated recently.

Relying on our human, national and moral responsibilities, we urge all Iraqi politicians to adopt wisdom and quietness, in addition to making every possible effort for true reconciliation to put an end to such institutional, economic and security deterioration.

We are also calling for unity of all the counterparts to have a clear vision and a shared coordinated plan to liberate all Iraqi territories and work together for peace and stability in the country to enable displaced people to return home.

Enough is enough! We have had enough disunion and dispersion. Focus on the future of your country, the future of your fellow citizens. As your brothers – millions are dying from poverty and diseases – Iraqis deserve much better than that.

* Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Iraq

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