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Situation worsening around Mosul, says prelate

Catholic World News - June 19, 2014

As Chaldean Catholics observed a day of prayer and fasting for peace on June 18, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul reported worsening conditions.

Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city, fell to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, a militant Sunni jihadist group, on June 9.

“In the villages in the Nineveh plain that accommodated part of the population fled from Mosul, the situation is worsening day by day,” Archbishop Emil Shimoun Nona told the Fides news service.

“There has been no water and electricity for two days,” he added. “Fuel is beginning to run out. And last night a part of Mosul was bombed, causing a new exodus of civilians.”

Archbishop Nona said that “here in Iraq we have seen so many times that war and military interventions do not solve anything, and the problems sooner or later explode again in a more devastating way. A common language and instruments of dialogue must be found with patience that engage all Iraqis.”

The reference to the need to engage all Iraqis is likely a reference to the Sunni-Shiite division in Iraq, as well as to the small Christian population. Approximately 65% of Muslims in Iraq are Shiites, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim, has often been characterized as marginalizing the Sunni population.

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