Archive - 2009

December 9th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Wed., Dec. 09, 2009


Pray for the success of Canada's Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Pray that the churches that ran the schools can support the commission and provide a safe place for Aboriginal people to share their experiences.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

December 7th

IRAQ UPDATE: 2-10 November 2009


Tuesday 3 November

Gish and Holmes visited the Mayor of Kani Mase. Asked if there were other villages affected by the bombing that CPT should visit, the Mayor said people left the villages, not because of the Turkish bombing, but because of fighting in the mountains between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish military. He maintained the Turkish military are not causing any problems; they coordinate their activities with the Peshmerga and have good relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). 

Asked about low-level flights of Turkish military planes over nearby villages on 13, 14 and 15 October 2009, the Mayor said these flights are normal and people are used to it. Asked if people returning to their villages today are in danger, the Mayor said: “The villages are secure.  The reason they don’t want to go back is that the U.N. ‘Oil for Food’ program made them lazy and they prefer to wait for handouts.  The KRG and the Municipality have built schools, concrete houses and set up water irrigation systems. Things aren’t perfect yet: they are getting lots of help and still they will not go back.”

Holmes and Gish visited a village near Kani Mase.  Villagers said people do not come back because Turkish military planes flying low and circling are frightening; roads are impassable during winter rains; children go to schools or universities outside, and families who are wealthy establish and maintain year-around homes elsewhere.

Asked about the Turkish outpost nearby, they responded: “We don't want anyone here watching everything we do. We want to be able to go to any village without fear. Now, if an animal wanders off from the others, farmers do not feel free to go and look for them.  If they do, the Turkish military might shoot at them.”

AT-TUWANI: Palestinian farmers plow fields despite settler and military harassment

On the morning of Saturday, 28 November, Palestinians from At-Tuwani and Yatta successfully plowed their fields in Khoruba valley and Mashakha valley, as well as fields on the property of Hajj Hussein Daoud.  These fields lie southeast of Havot Ma'on, an Israeli settlement outpost that in 2006 was designated for evacuation.  Settlers had plowed some of these fields on 5 November when, according to Palestinian shepherds, the Israeli military was present and permitted the plowing to happen.  Palestinians of nearby communities expressed concern, seeing this as another attempt by settlers to steal their land.

December 5th

IRAQ: Anfal and Uprising


In 1987-88, Saddam Hussein’s Ba'athist military launched a brutal offensive against the Iraqi Kurds called the "Anfal," a term from the Koran meaning "the spoils of [holy] war." In the final years of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Hussein feared that Iraqi Kurds might ally themselves with Iran. His campaign against the Kurds centered on the destruction of Kurdish villages across Iraq's three northern provinces and the killing or exile of their rural population. The Iraqis used aerial bombing, chemical gas attacks, and mass executions against the Kurds. Kurds say that 180,000 were killed, 90% of their villages destroyed, and one million displaced out of a population of 3.5 million.  The Iraqi government removed the survivors from two-thirds of the Kurdish land areas and concentrated them in the few remaining Kurdish towns and cities under harsh restrictions with few resources.

December 4th

AL-KHALIIL/HEBRON: Soldiers beat young man in Al-Khaliil Market

At 12:30 p.m. on 26 November 2009, Paulette Schroeder and Johann Funk responded to street vendor's report that Israeli soldiers had beaten a young Palestinian man as he made his way through the market towards the Ibrahimi mosque.  The patrol had been spotted earlier wending its way through the crowd of last minute shoppers before the Eid al Adha feast.  When the CPTers arrived, six soldiers were detaining a young man who was holding his abdomen and crying.  His mother and a man held him while an older man spoke with the soldiers.

December 2nd



Pray for the people of northern Iraq. Tensions are increasing between Kurdish and Arab residents as displacement, bombings along the Turkish border, and the anticipated withdrawal of U.S. troops contribute to the uncertainties of their lives.

COLOMBIA ANALYSIS: “Their corrosion will testify against you”

In recent weeks, the Colombian investigative magazine, Cambio, has published stories about the Colombian government subsidizing its rich citizens, while poor Colombians lose what little they have.  It reported that some of the wealthiest families of Colombia received millions of dollars to develop their agricultural investments.  It also reported that these families had donated large sums of money to President Uribe's and to former Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias' 2010 presidential campaigns.  Mr. Arias was responsible for authorizing the subsidies. 

November 28th

IRAQ: CPT delegation jolted by historic and current realities Iraqi Kurds must face

"We want security and our neighboring countries to stay out of our country and villages," a group of twelve men displaced by Turkish bombing around the village of Terwanish in northern Iraq, said to CPT's delegation of international peace workers.  They told of Turkish airplanes flying low over their village, terrorizing the people, hearing the continual bombing of villages a few kilometers away, and the loss of their livelihoods and traditional ways of life.

November 27th

COLOMBIA: Assassination follows Minga gathering at Sogamoso River Bridge

More than 500 people, including four CPTers, occupied the Sogamoso River Bridge on 12 October 2009 ("Columbus Day") to protest construction of a hydroelectric dam on the river.  The action was part of a national mobilization, called the "Minga of Communal and Social Resistance."  "Minga" is an indigenous term for collective action, and the indigenous movement is leading the way in the struggle for social and environmental justice in Colombia.   

November 26th

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military confiscates electricity pylons; prohibits Palestinians from improving quality of life

At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, Palestine-On Wednesday, 25 November 2009, the Israeli military and Border police confiscated two electricity pylons standing at the entrance to the village of At-Tuwani.  The villagers had installed the pylons in an effort to connect to the electrical grid in Yatta, a Palestinian city to the north.  The Israeli military declared the area around the pylons a closed military zone in an attempt to prevent Palestinians and CPTers from obstructing or documenting the confiscation.  When two CPTers continued to film, Border Police slammed them against a military jeep and threatened them with arrest.  Nonetheless, dozens of villagers formed a barricade to prevent a police jeep from further entering the village.