Peacekeeping: Ugly Chickens Coming Home To Roost


April 25, 2007: The UN is faced with a very nasty situation as it is called on to help deal with the Iraq refugee problem. The problems are many. Nearly all of the two million refugees are Sunni Arabs. That's a problem because many of them used to work for Saddam, doing jobs that will also attract the UN war crimes people eventually. But it gets worse. During the 1990s, the UN administered an "oil for food" program, to help alleviate the suffering of the Iraqis people, while the nations oil exports were restricted by UN sanctions (kept in place by Saddams refusal to comply with the terms of the 1991 ceasefire). It has since come to light that many UN officials were bribed by Saddam, to help the Iraqi government get around the sanctions.

And then there are some of the foreigners that Saddam was hosting, who are also trying to escape Iraq. Over a thousand Palestinians have tried to get out of Iraq, but no country will accept them. Many of the non-Iraqi refugees have criminal (terrorist) records, and don't really want to go home anyway. But few third countries want to offer sanctuary to someone with a price on their head.

The UN has managed to dodge all this because they can, quite reasonably, claim that Iraq is too dangerous for their refugee experts. That's less the case in most of the country, and the refugee problem is getting worse as more Sunni Arabs are being driven out of the country. For the UN, lots of ugly chickens are coming home to roost. It will be interesting to see how the UN officials try to avoid the nasty side effects.




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