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Cousin calls on Saddam Hussein to resign | (UPI) -- A cousin of Saddam Hussein called on the Iraqi president Wednesday to resign so as to spare the Arab country a tragedy.

"With complete honesty, I invite you to save yourself, Iraq and your people from the coming tragedy," Izz al Din al Majid said in a letter to Saddam. United Press International obtained a copy.

Al Majid called on Saddam to resign so as to leave Iraq to its people and not foreigners and "to block any conspiracy against Iraq by putting an end to the ordeals which started since you took power."

Saddam became the most powerful figure in the Baghdad regime in 1969 and president in 1979.

Al Majid, formerly an Iraqi army officer, is a member of the same family as one of Saddam's closest and most brutal collaborators, "Chemical Ali" al Majid, whose nickname derives from his employing poison gas to kill Iraqi Kurds in 1988. Izz al Din fled to Jordan in 1995 along with Saddam's sons-in-law, Husayn Kamil and Saddam Kamil. A year later, both Kamil brothers returned to Iraq, Saddam having promised he would pardon them. Instead, they were slain by fellow members of the Majidi tribe at Saddam's instigation. Al Majid's wife and four children were also killed. Al Majid, who had refused to return to Iraq, quit Jordan and took refuge in Turkey.

Currently living in a European country, he wrote to Saddam that Iraq was not being wisely led and warned Saddam of more blood and death, saying that his fate and that of his family "will be trapped inside a circle of endless fires in Iraq."

Al Majid, apparently seeking a place in the organized Iraqi opposition, has contacted the Higher Council for National Salvation, whose membership includes 24 former high-ranking Iraqi officers in exile.

Reportedly among the members are Wafiq Samarai, former chief of military intelligence; Nizar Khazraji, former Army chief-of-staff; former Information Minister Hamid al-Jaburi and Salah Omar al-Ali, formerly a member of the powerful Revolutionary Command Council.

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