US Anti-Sanction Busters Head to Basra on Two-Month Solidarity Trip
A six-member US "peace team" drove off to Iraq on Wednesday for a two-month stay in the southern city of Basra in solidarity with the sanctions-hit people.
The delegation from Voices of the Wilderness, a Chicago-based group seeking an end to the nearly 10-year UN sanctions on Iraq, left from Jordan by car for the long desert trek to Iraq, a statement by the group said.
"The purpose of the delegation is to witness, record and partake in the experience of living daily life under the 10-year-old embargo," the statement said.
"They will file weekly reports detailing their activities to various contacts in the United States to further focus on the blighted conditions of ordinary Iraqis under the sanctions," it added.
Delegation members will live with Iraqi families, sharing their food and their impoverished living conditions in Basra, where sweltering heat and almost non-existent air conditioners can make life almost unbearable.
Voices in the Wilderness co-founder Kathy Kelly said the "peace team" hoped this personal approach to raising awareness of the hardships of the Iraqi people will hit home in the United States.
"We believe that through personal example we are able, more than any other way, to communicate with people in the United States and beyond who otherwise may remain unaffected by sufferings Iraqi people endure," Kelly said.
Basra is Iraq's second city and suffered widespread damage during the Gulf war.
Many groups of Western anti-sanction busters, including US nationals, have recently transited through Jordan on their way to Iraq on solidarity trips - AMMAN (AFP)
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