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Call for KRG to send Anfal victims DNA tests unanswered

  2021-04-14  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A women holding photographs of his family members, massacred during the notorious Anfal campaign, commemorates the 33rd anniversary of the notorious campaign in Chamchamal, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, April 14,2021. Photo by Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – An Iraqi federal official said on Wednesday (April 14) that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs has not sent the DNA tests of the families of Anfal victims so that they proceed to identify the identities of over 170 bodies believed to be belonging to the campaign.  

In August 2019, a mass grave was unearthed in Samawah in Muthanna governorate containing the remains of over 170 bodies likely to have been killed during the notorious Anfal campaign by the former Iraqi regime in the last 1980s. 

Director General of Victims of Terrorism and Military Operations Department at Iraq’s the Martyrs Foundation Tariq al-Mandalawi told Zhyan News Network that the foundation had requested the KRG ministry to send them the DNA tests from the affected families to his agency, but to no avail.

“I am calling on the families of the Kurdistan martyrs and Anfal victims to go to hospital and make DNA tests and send their results to us,” the federal official appealed. 

More than 200 mass graves have been discovered in the governorates in Iraq including the bodies of women, men and children massacred during Saddam Hussein’s reign, the official said. 

On Tuesday, Chamchamal District Mayor Ramak Ramazan said that preparations have been made for the arrival of the remains of over 171 bodies of Anfal victims but COVID-19 restrictions by the KRG and the federal have halted the process.  

More than 182,000 ethnic Kurdish men, women and children were rounded up and executed, mostly in Garmian area in 1988, in the Anfal operations in the late 1980s. Their towns and villages were attacked and looted by the then Iraqi army, and many women and children were sent to camps where they lived in appalling conditions.

Men and boys of battle age were executed en masse.

The campaign took its name from the al-Anfal Surat or verse in Quran. Anfal literally means the spoils (of war), was used by the then Iraqi security forces to annihilate and quash the Kurds at the time. 

Kurds, especially locals in Garmian administration, usually commemorate Anfal Memorial Day on April 14.

On April 14,2008, Iraq’s Council of Representatives recognized Anfal as a genocide and the federal courts handed death sentences to the culprit military commanders.

Norway, Sweden, the UK and South Korea recognize the Anfal campaign as genocide, but it has failed short to be globally recognized so far. 

Former Kurdistan Region lawmaker Salar Mahmoud said that remains of over 170,000 bodies of Anfal victims are still in the mass graves in the southern deserts, claiming only less than 4,000 bodies have returned to the Kurdistan Region.

(Zhyan English)