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September 24, 2018
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International Romani Union says offer to help Trump came from Rom facing traditional community justice procedure in Romania

8.2.2017 8:35
Dorin Cioaba (PHOTO:
Dorin Cioaba (PHOTO:

Dorin Cioabă, the self-declared "King of all Roma", has sent a letter to US President Donald Trump promising to aid him with building the controversial wall on the border between Mexico and the USA. This news, which in the Czech Republic would usually only be fit for the tabloid media, was instead reported here by public broadcaster Czech Radio.

That reporting was lacking in some basic information, namely, that the International Romani Union (IRU) has described Cioabă as allegedly one of the biggest malefactors among the Roma community of Romania, somebody who is currently facing a traditional Roma court procedure (called a kris) for allegedly mishandling finances during his work in the leadership of the IRU between 2013 and 2016. "Dorin Cioabă is the Roma people's biggest shame in Romania," the IRU said in response to Cioabă's effort to get into Trump's good graces.

The IRU's statement also alleges Cioabă is prepared to humiliate and sell out his fellow Roma to further his own interests. "There is no legitimate reason to pay attention to the declarations made by such a person, and Roma people who read about such matters in the media should not feel embarrassed in the least, because we have no reason to take responsibility for a self-appointed king declaring such stuff," Romani human rights activist William Lazarus Bila, an internationally recognized expert in intercultural communications, posted to Facebook in response to the news.

According to information reported by news server Balkan Insight, Cioabă promised the US president aid with building the wall on the border with Mexico and expressed support for all of the other projects Trump plans. He presents himself in the absurd role of "spokesperson for all Roma" in the letter. 

Cioabă also claims in the letter that Roma labor would cost less because the Roma are suffering from high unemployment and are qualified enough to do the job. "The Roma nation, whom I represent, wishes you a great deal of strength in fulfilling the tasks ahead of you. May God bless the decisions you are taking for international peace and security," Romanian state news agency Agerpres quotes the letter to Trump as saying.

According to the chair of the IRU, Zoran Dimov, as well as other members of the organization, Cioabă is allegedly one of the biggest malefactors among the Roma community in Romania. The US Ambassador to Romania, according to the Romanian media, is unaware of the letter.

On the basis of Trump's remarks to date it can be assumed that he will prefer Americans build the wall on the border with Mexico. Dorin Cioabă, who lives in Sibiu, Romania, is the son of the late Florian Cioabă.

Balkan Insight reports that Florian Cioabă was apparently a respected member of the Roma community in Romania who had also declared himself "king of all the Roma in the world" in 1997, and when he passed away four years ago, his son Dorin replaced him in that assumed role. Trump signed an executive order to build the wall on the border with Mexico on 25 January.

The wall is supposed to be more 3 000 kilometers long. Trump has repeatedly said the Mexican Government will pay the cost of the wall's construction, an assertion that Mexico has rejected in no uncertain terms.

agw, voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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