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Iraq: Kurdistan Regional Government demands compensation for Anfal victims

Masrour Barzani, new prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) arrives at the parliament in Erbil, Iraq on 10 July 2019. [Yunus Keleş - Anadolu Agency]
Masrour Barzani, new prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) arrives at the parliament in Erbil, Iraq on 10 July 2019. [Yunus Keleş - Anadolu Agency]

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq on Wednesday demanded the federal government of Baghdad to compensate the victims of the Anfal genocide that claimed the lives of hundreds of Kurds during the regime of the late President Saddam Hussein in 1988.

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani commemorated the 33rd anniversary of the Anfal massacre and demanded: "Material and moral compensation for the survivors and families of Anfal victims from the Iraqi federal government."

Barzani expressed that while his government demands material and moral compensation for the victims, it is working to provide the best services for them.

The Anfal genocide refers to an eight-stage genocidal campaign carried out by the former Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish people in Iraq in the 1980s.

Thousands of Kurds, including women and children, mainly from the rural areas of the Kurdish region, were buried alive in the desert areas of Iraq's south, while thousands of others were forced into camps. Entire villages and natural springs were destroyed, depriving the population of shelter and water.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced in a statement that commemorating the Anfal crime has motivated all governments to work hard to prevent returning to dictatorship in any form.

He added that the brutal crimes committed against the Iraqi people confirms that the democratic reform and peaceful coexistence approach is the way to a brighter future for Iraq dominated by peace, love and tolerance.

On 3 May, 2011, the Iraqi High Criminal Court deemed the Anfal massacre a "crime against humanity". It convicted Ali Hassan Al-Majid, the former regime's defence minister, of supervising the chemical attack that targeted the city of Halabja in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate.

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