Peace Activists Asked To Leave Iraq Arrive In Jordan
Feb. 01, 1991
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Iraqi troops forced members of an international peace group to leave the Iraqi-Saudi border, where they had been camping to protest the Persian Gulf War, according to activists who arrived here Friday.
''Some people wanted to stay behind and do silly things...So the Iraqi troops forced them into a bus with the others,'' said John Livesey, one of the organizers of the action by the Gulf Peace Team.
Jimmy Jones, a British spokesman for the group, said the 73 activists who spent 10 days at the border camp after the outbreak of the war were evacuated Sunday by Iraq.
Two days later, Iraqi troops crossed into Saudi Arabia and seized parts of the abandoned border town of Khafji, which it held for a day and a half before being forced out on Thursday by allied forces.
During the three days they spent in Baghdad, the activists said they saw many damaged civilian houses. Khairan Khan of Britain said she visited a Baghdad hospital ''which was operating without water or electricity.''
Members of the group said that while driving to the Jordanian border Thursday night they saw private cars and trucks burning along the desert highway. They said they saw about a dozen bomb craters in the highway, including one big enough to swallow a car.
The group held a news conference Friday to urge an immediate end to the war. ''We call upon people in our own country, the United States, and in other countries to seek a date for united world action against this war,'' said Kathleen Kelly of Chicago.
Livesey, of New Zealand, said the group was forced to leave because ''some members betrayed the trust placed in us by the Iraqi authorities.'' He said the renegade members planned unauthorized activities along the border, but he refused to say what these were.
After leaving the camp, the group was taken to Baghdad, where they spent three days waiting for transportation to Jordan.
The peace activists were from 15 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. Many said they had applied for visas to return to Iraq to assist ''in every way we can.''