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Press Release email@example.com Tel: Al Fanar Hotel: 09641 7172833/7177440/7188007 room 208 Please note that Iraq is 3 hours ahead of GMT UNICEF Iraq chief tells UK activist of consequences of US attack UNICEF Iraq head Mr Carel de Rooy said in an interview with British peace campaigner Jo Wilding that if Iraq's power stations are incapacitated in an attack there will be severe knock-on effects on the civilian infrastructure. Specifically there are risks to the sewage, water and health care systems. Sewage pipes are still being replaced after being damaged in the 1991 bombardment when they became irreparably blocked due to the lack of electricity. Some ruptured, while in others the effluent backed up, overflowing through inspection covers and flooding streets and cellars. Currently 500,000 tons of raw sewage every day are dumped into Iraq's fresh water bodies. In many places, even in Baghdad, there is still no link to the main line. Mr de Rooy explained that the system is currently in a much worse position to withstand a bombardment than it was in 1991. He said that water is being stored in tankers and emergency generators have been installed at water pumping plants, which will operate as long as fuel stores last, but these will not be adequate for the needs of the population, with an average share of 15 litres per person per day for all needs, compared with an already insufficient 150 litres per day. Community wells will assist, but even so a leaked UN document estimates that just 39% may have even rationed access to water in the event of war. Mr de Rooy pointed out the high level of dependence on the state which has resulted from over 12 years of UN sanctions. The government food ration is distributed to every resident, while other essential goods are heavily subsidised so as to be free or almost free, including electricity, water, petrol and some non-ration foodstuffs. In addition many people are employed by the government, private sector industry having largely collapsed under the intense suppression of the economy. Again this dependence makes the civilian population far less capable of withstanding attack than they were in 1991. Asked whether he had any message for Tony Blair and George Bush, Mr de Rooy said that he did not concern himself with politics but with the children of Iraq. The effects which he talked about were already well-documented in UN papers and other reports. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war, effects cease to be collateral and become intentional when they are inevitable and foreknown. It is prohibited to attack or destroy objects indispensable to the civilian population, and the presence of military objectives within a population does not deprive it of its civilian character. There is already a 2300 Megawatt per day deficit in Iraq's electricity supply. Any attack on any power station will be a grave breach of international and British law. sign the pledge of resistance to the "war on terrorism" www.j-n-v.org _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk