Written By: FA ME / source: Minority Rights Group.
in recent report of Minority Rights Group International, putting Iraq on the second palce in a list of 20 countries where Minorities are at grave risk or peoples around the world most at risk of genocide, mass killing or other systematic violent repression. 2009 is the fourth year that Minority Rights Group International has compiled the list, which is based on current indicators from authoritative sources.
The highest five states in the Peoples Under Threat table in 2009 are unchanged in position from last year: Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and Burma/Myanmar. In each of them violence against minorities of a widespread or systematic character is ongoing, as it is in a number of other states near the top of the list, including the Democratic Republic of Congo. The most significant risers in the top ten are Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Some commentators may be surprised to see Iraq cling stubbornly to its position as second in the table, despite widespread media coverage of a decline in violence in the country over the last year and the new government’s relative success in establishing control. However, civilian deaths from violence, although thankfully no longer at the 2006-7 rate of 3,000 a month, were still estimated at 300 – 800 a month over the last year, making it one of the world’s most deadly conflicts. Contested areas of Nineveh and Kirkuk where many minority communities live continue to be as dangerous as ever. A recent rise in high profile bombings and the assassination of the leading Sunni Arab politician Harith al-Obeidi are also ominous signs as the US draws down its military presence. Of equal concern is the character of the new government, where power is held by an increasingly authoritarian faction with a sectarian base.