President Nechirvan Barzani’s statement on the anniversary of the Anfal genocide

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 14, 2021

Today, we remember the 33rd anniversary of the Anfal operations, which was one of the most vicious crimes committed by the former Iraqi regime. Hundreds of thousands of innocent women, men, children and elderly people were forcibly taken from Kurdistan to the mass grave sites, where there was no escape. The regime brutally committed the mass killing and infanticide of more than 182,000 citizens. The genocidal Anfal crimes also led to the destruction of the beautiful environment and nature of our country as it erased traces of life permanently from thousands of villages and localities in Kurdistan.

As we mark this day, we pay tribute to the memory of our fallen victims, and we remember them with honor. They will always be in the memory of the people of Kurdistan. We honor them and pay tribute to their families who have withstood the endless pain and agony of losing their loved ones. All resources must be available to provide more and better services to the families of our fallen victims.

As we remember the victims and all martyrs of Kurdistan, it is crucial that we make all efforts to prevent the repetition of such genocidal crimes in Kurdistan or any other place in the world. This national tragedy must encourage us to further maintain unity, tolerance and mutual respect.

After the Supreme Court of Iraq recognized the Anfal crimes as genocide, crime against humanity, and war crimes, the state if Iraq has an obligation to compensate the families of the victims financially and morally. We urge the government of Iraq to provide reparations to the families of the victims. We also call on the international community to recognize this crime as genocide. The Anfal genocide should be documented in school curricula and everywhere that is necessary.

We pay tribute to the victim’s of Anfal genocide, they will always remain in our memory.

Nechirvan Barzani

President of the Kurdistan Region

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