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OPCW statement on Halabja chemical attack anniversary

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – On the occasion of twenty-eighth anniversary of the chemical attack on Halabja, in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Director General of The Hague based Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OPCW, Mr Ahmet Uzumcu, issued a statement, expressing his organisation’s sympathy with the people of Halabja.

He stated, “The memory of Halabja serves as painful reminder of human cost claimed by these dreadful weapons. It is our responsibility – to the victims and to the humanity in general – to ensure that no-one is ever again exposed to such untold suffering.”

On 16 march 1988, Saddam Hussein forces bombed the Kurdish town of Halabja with chemical weapons, killing over 5000 civilians, men women and children and wounding thousands of others.

Following is the text of of the statement

Statement by Mr. Ahmet Uzumecu
Director General of the OPCW

Commemoration of the 1988 Halabja Chemical Weapons Attack
16 March 2016
The Hague

16 March 1988 [2016] marks the twenty- eighth anniversary of the brutal chemical weapons attack in the town of Halabja that claimed thousands of innocent lives. Those who survived remain forever scarred, in body and spirit.

On behalf of the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, I convey our deepest condolences and sympathies to the people of Halabja and assure them of our support.

The memory of Halabja serves as painful reminder of human cost claimed by these dreadful weapons. It is our responsibility – to the victims and to the humanity in general – to ensure that no-one is ever again exposed to such untold suffering.

A complete and effective ban on the production and use of chemical weapons is a fitting memorial to the victims who suffered at the hands of these abhorrent weapons. Let us recommit ourselves that we would not allow anyone, under any circumstances, to use chemical weapons.

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