Senior Andean Correspondent
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Dec 21, 2012

Iraqi Sunnis accuse Maliki of crackdown, tensions flare

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Sunni leaders in Iraq accused Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of a crackdown on Friday after troops detained a Sunni minister’s bodyguards, triggering protests in one province and threatening to reignite a crisis a year after U.S. troops left.

The incident with the finance minister’s staff came hours after President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who has mediated among Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish factions, left for Germany following a stroke that may end his steadying influence over politics.

Dec 21, 2012

Iraq’s Sunni leaders accuse PM of crackdown

BAGHDAD, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Sunni leaders accused
Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of a political crackdown
after troops raided the finance minister’s office and home,
threatening to reignite a crisis a year after the last American
troops left.

The raids and detention of the Sunni minister’s staff came
hours after President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who often mediated
among the fractious Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish blocs, left for
Germany after suffering a stroke that could end his moderating
influence in Iraqi politics.

Dec 20, 2012

Ailing Iraq leader in Germany, succession scrap looms

BAGHDAD/BERLIN (Reuters) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived in Germany on Thursday for medical treatment for a stroke, leaving behind a potentially messy battle to replace the Kurdish statesman.

The 79-year-old former guerrilla, who was admitted to hospital on Monday night, has mediated among Iraqi Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds, and in the growing dispute over oil between Baghdad and the country’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Dec 19, 2012

Iraqi president’s stroke fuels fears of crisis

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is to be transferred to Germany for treatment for a stroke that may end his moderating influence in a dispute edging Baghdad and the country’s autonomous Kurdistan region closer to a confrontation over oil.

The portly 79-year-old former guerrilla, who has often mediated among Iraqi Shi’ites, Sunnis, and Kurds and between the Arab-led central government and the self-ruled Kurdish enclave, was admitted to hospital on Monday night.

Dec 19, 2012

Iraqi president stroke fuels succession talk

BAGHDAD, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
was responding to treatment on Wednesday after suffering a
stroke that raised fears of a messy succession battle to replace
the Kurd leader who has mediated among Iraq’s competing
factions.

“He is showing clear signs of improvement,” Najmaldin Karim,
the governor of Iraq’s Kirkuk city who is also a doctor, told
Reuters.

Nov 7, 2012

After quiet revolt, power struggle looms for Syria’s Kurds

DERIK, Syria, Nov 7 (Reuters) – In the northeast corner of
Syria a power struggle is developing over the promise of oil
riches in the remote Kurdish region, threatening to drag Kurdish
rivals, Arab rebels and Turkey into a messy new front in an
already complex civil war.

Quietly and with little of the bloodshed seen elsewhere in
Syria’s 19-month popular revolt against President Bashar
al-Assad, the Kurdish minority is grabbing the chance to secure
self-rule and the rights denied them for decades.

Oct 31, 2012

Syria turmoil stirs Iraqi tribal sympathies, hopes

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – In guesthouses and mosques across Iraq’s Anbar province, the talk at Sunni tribal gatherings has turned from the usual debate over local politics to a matter even more pressing – the war next door.

Many people in Iraq’s Sunni heartland, once al Qaeda’s stronghold in the country, are most concerned with helping their kin. Tribal ties span the border, and Sunni chieftains and community leaders say Iraqi tribes regularly send Syrian relatives food and supplies.

Oct 24, 2012

Burning rubber, Baghdad bikers race to escape

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Filling the night air with roaring engines and screeching tires, youths in bandannas tear down a highway in souped-up motorcyles, pulling wheelies and dodging cars in a cat-and-mouse with police.

Drag-racing in California, you say? No, this is Baghdad, where youthful rebellion and American biker style clash with conservative mores in Iraq, a country where just a few years ago militias imposed their own radical Islamic views at gunpoint.

Oct 17, 2012

FEATURE: Fighting female genital mutilation, one Kurdish village at a time

TUTAKAL, Iraq (Reuters) – Amena Omer Mirhan practised female genital mutilation in her remote village in Iraqi Kurdistan for so many years that she struggles to recall how many girls passed through her hands.

“I couldn’t count them,” said the midwife, sitting in a garden in Tutakal, her hair in a black headscarf and her chin marked by a faded traditional blue tattoo.

Oct 17, 2012

Fighting female genital mutilation, one Kurdish village at a time

TUTAKAL, Iraq (Reuters) – Amena practiced female genital mutilation in her remote village in Iraqi Kurdistan for so many years that she struggles to recall how many girls passed through her hands.

“I couldn’t count them,” said the midwife, sitting in a garden in Tutakal, her hair in a black headscarf and her chin marked by a faded traditional blue tattoo.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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