Chamchamal Holds Ceremony to Bury 172 Anfal Victims' Remains

Kurdistan 10:53 AM - 2024-02-21
The Remains of 172 Anfal Victims PUKMEDIA

The Remains of 172 Anfal Victims

Anfal Iraqi First Lady

The remains of 172 Anfal victims were buried today in Garmian during a public ceremony attended by their families, as well as party and government officials. 
The press office of Iraqi First Lady Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed announced yesterday that the bodies of 172 Anfal victims, who had been kept in forensic medicine in Baghdad for four years and six months, will be buried in Chamchamal.
According to the statement, the first lady's actions were in line with the families' requests to return the remains of the victims.

Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed: Anfal is a persistent wound
Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed, the First Lady of Iraq, gave a speech during the ceremony and said: "After 36 years of our loved ones being missing, we have come with heavy hearts to attend their burial. Anfal is a persistent wound. Anfal is larger than anything that we, the federal government, and the Kurdistan Regional Government have encountered."
"I understand that everyone wants to repatriate their loved ones' remains to their home regions, and on this sorrowful day, I pledge to you that we will honourably return the remains to their regions following the disclosure of the tests," she added.
Mrs. Shanaz also said: "The important thing is that we started and we will not stop, even though the process took a long time and the path was difficult." "What we need is unity; we cannot be split apart and must work together to uncover the mass graves, return all the remains to their ancestral homes, and put an end to the 36 years of waiting."
"We also need to move toward designating this horrible act as genocide, she added. "I call on the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments to pay serious attention, compensate the victims, and give back honour and dignity to those who were sacrificed because of being Kurds and humans during the area of a despicable regime that was against freedom, human rights, and pride."
Blood sample collection from Anfal victims' relatives is still ongoing
Previously, Pari Nuri Aziz, an advisor in the Iraqi Presidency, told PUKMEDIA that an Iraqi forensic team began collecting blood samples from Anfal victims' relatives on February 17, 2024, and that the process will last five days, adding that it is being carried out at the request of the Iraqi First Lady.
On January 13, 2024, the bodies were retrieved from a forensic medical examination in Baghdad and repatriated in a dignified ceremony. They were finally laid to rest today, February 21, 2024.
According to statistics, 270 mass graves have been discovered since Iraq's liberation, with many more still to be found. The majority of these graves are concentrated in the area between Diwaniyah, Samawah, and Najaf provinces. 
Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath dictatorial regime launched the Anfal campaign in February 1988, which targeted Kurdish civilians and lasted until September of the same year. It is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous instances of state-sponsored mass murder under Iraq's Ba'ath regime. The military and regular forces, including the First Corps in Kirkuk and the Fifth Corps in Erbil, as well as the Air Force, Special Forces, Republican Guard, Commando Forces, security and intelligence services, military intelligence, and chemical and biological weapons departments, were all mobilised to carry out these operations. The Anfal atrocities killed over 182,000 Kurdish civilians, including women, children, and the elderly.

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