Red Crescent Claims 'Somebody is Behind Highly Organized Ethnic War'
By David Edwards on 5/6/2006, 8:49am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of

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The number of Iraqis forced from their homes due to organized campaigns of ethnic cleansing has increased from 30,000 to 100,000 in the month of April.

Only a month ago, we posted a video from ABC News which reported that 30,000 Iraqi had been forced from their homes due to sectarian threats. Some have described the situation that has created thousands of Iraq refugees as an organized effort of ethnic cleansing.

Just 20 days after our initial report, the Iraqi Red Crescent estimates that over 100,000 Iraqis have become refugees in their own country. Some suggest that the number of displaced people might be much higher but the current security situation in Iraq prevents even a cursory audit of more than 1000 refugee camps.

This video combines a report from BBC with an Arab news report from Baghdad. The BBC's James Reynolds reports from one of the 'tent cities'. Reynolds is told by the Iraqi Red Crescent that "somebody is behind this war. It is highly organized."...

An Arab news channel, reports on protests in Baghdad where refugees demand that the Iraqi government immediately facilitate a secure return to their homes. Iraqi and Coalition forces have not been able to slow the trend of a growing refugee population. Of course, the combined forces can not begin to ensure protection for over 100,000 displaced Iraqis who wish to return to their homes.

Hard-liners of both Shi'ias and Sunnis are violently "cleansing" their respective regional areas of the other's people. Under Saddam's rule, mixed neighborhoods of Shi'ias and Sunnis became commonplace. As the so-called "low level civil war" rages, Sectarian interests have sharply divided the country.

This is not the first time that mass numbers of refugees have been forced from their homes since the American occupation of Iraq. A UN report has found that during the initial invasion and occupation, 140,000 Iraqi refugees fled to Syria. That same report concluded that conditions had become worse for Iraqi than under Saddam's rule. During the November 2004 destruction of Fallujah by American forces, thousands of families were forced to flee to tent cities. These refugees were forced to struggle through the harsh Winter months without heat, food or humanitarian assistance.