With Chaos Reigning, Bush Tells Iraqis: Build Your Government
The president tells Iraqis in a speech: “It’s about time you get a unity government going.” Maybe they had trouble hearing him, what with some 25,000 fleeing their homes amid the continuing sectarian violence.
BAGHDAD, March 28 — Sectarian violence has displaced more than 25,000 Iraqis since the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine, a U.N.-affiliated agency said Tuesday, and shelters and tent cities are springing up across central and southern Iraq to house homeless Sunni and Shiite families.
The flight is continuing, according to the International Organization for Migration, which works closely with the United Nations and other groups. The result has been a population exchange as Sunni and Shiite families flee mixed communities for the safety of areas where their own sects predominate.
“I definitely wouldn’t say the displacement has peaked,” said Dana Graber, an official of the migration agency in Amman, Jordan. “It’s continuous.”
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
President Bush expressed frustration Wednesday that Iraqis have so far failed to form a unity government, but he said withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too early would damage U.S. security.
“I want the Iraqi people to hear I’ve got great confidence in their capacity to self-govern,” Bush said. “I also want the Iraqi people to hear — it’s about time you get a unity government going.
“In other words, Americans understand you’re newcomers to the political arena. But pretty soon it’s time to shut her down and get governing.”
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