PRESS RELEASE - Lund, Sweden, February 5, 2003
Christian Harleman and Jan Oberg recently returned from their second two-week fact-finding mission to Iraq.

They are available for interviews and viewpoints on any current issue related to the crisis, including Sec of State Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council today.

Jan Oberg
oberg@transnational.org, +46 (0)46 14 59 09.

Christian Harleman
ch.harleman@crido.pp.se, +46 (0)8 755 99 54.

This time they interviewed six categories of people:

1) High-level Iraqis
Among the high-level Iraqis they met with were deputy prime-minister Tariq Aziz, scholars at the Beit Al-Hikme Research Institute, leaders of the Baath Party, the Deputy speaker of the National Assembly, General Ameer Al- Saadi (counterpart of Mr. Hans Blix), officials and ambassadors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the deputy minister of health, the Archbishop of Basrah and the Women's Federation in Basrah.

2) Iraqis in the street and Iraqi civil society
Citizens in cafés, bazaars, shops. Art galleries. The Iraq Museum. Mosques, hospitals, etc.

3) Embassies
Diplomats at the embassies of Norway, France and Russia.

4) The United Nations
The United Nations Iraq-Kuweit Observation Mission, UNIKOM, at the border with Kuweit and high-level reps of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), UNOCHI (UN Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq), WFP (United Nations World Food Program), UNDP (UN Development Program).

5) Humanitarian organisations
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), and CARE.

6) Peace movements
Voices in the Wilderness and the Iraq Peace team, Magarita Papandreou and peace delegation, TFF Associate Scilla Ellworthy of the Oxford Research Group, and former UN humanitarian co-ordinator Denis Haliday.

"We have now conducted some 150 interviews with many and different people in this welcoming and kind country. We have listened in order to learn," says Jan Oberg.

"We believe that we begin to understand a little of Iraq's immense complexities and of the way the Iraqis see the world. We have seen first-hand the suffering of the people. Iraq is 25 million human beings like you and I and not only Saddam Hussein."

"There is a huge diference between the perceptions we now have and the image presented in the mainstream media back home. And we will be happy to share them with anyone interested."


TFF Associate Scilla Ellworthy
http://www.transnational.org/tff/people/s_elworthy.html

- has also just returned from Baghdad. See her report and proposals here
http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/1programmes-conflict-baghdad.htm
and here
http://www.transnational.org/forum/meet/2003/Elworthy_IraqLetter.html


Another TFF Associate working for a peaceful solution to the conflict is Hans von Sponeck
http://www.transnational.org/tff/people/hc_vonsponeck.html
More about his mission soon.


TFF


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Phone +46 46 14 59 09
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