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8 Again and Again: the UN's Betrayal of the Internally Displaced in South and Central Iraq, 1991-2003

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Chapter Summary

Throughout the history of its involvement in Iraq, the United Nations (UN) and its humanitarian agencies systematically and deliberately prioritized the interests of government of Saddam Hussein and their own interests over the needs of Iraqis suffering at the hands of that regime. Instead of speaking out against abuses of the régime, UN agencies issued report after public statement after press release decrying the abuse of Iraqi people by international military action and economic sanctions. This chapter shows what repercussions the political slush fund known as UN Oil-for-Food Programme carried for the most vulnerable population in Iraq under Saddam Hussein: the internally displaced in southern and central areas of the country. It was the UN's duty to assist and protect them. Instead, its refusal to intervene or even speak up on behalf of these displaced populations darkened the shroud of neglect that hung over them, leaving them isolated and unassisted.

Keywords: economic sanctions; humanitarian agencies; internally displaced; international military action; Iraq; Saddam Hussein; UN Oil-for-Food Programme; United Nations (UN)



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