Letter: Don't make Iraqis wait on sanctions

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The Independent Online
Sir: Responding to the latest showdown in the Gulf, your leading article of 10 October states: 'As to whether sanctions (on Iraq) shuld be lifted, the debate must wait'.

We write out of recent first- hand experience of Iraq, whose ordinary people - Shia, Sunni and Christian, Arab and Kurd - suffer the malnutrition and preventable disease to which sanctions directly contribute.

These were not the objectives of sanctions. Yet many ordinary Iraqis ask what current UN policy is attempting to achieve. While motives and strategic aims remain unclear, the issue of sanctions will be used to provoke tension in the Gulf.

The debate must begin now.

Yours faithfully,

THOMAS BUTLER

Bishop of Leicester

KEITH CLEMENTS

Co-ordinating Secretary for

International Affairs, Council of

Churches for Britain and Ireland

DAVE HAMPSON

Senior Programme Officer

(Gulf), Christian Aid

The Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland

London, SE1

12 October

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