UNPO To Visit Erbil To Commemorate Kurdish Genocide
UNPO is set to visit Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, from 14-16 March 2013 for a series of events organised by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Halabja and Anfal genocide, which were mounted under Saddam Hussein's leadership to exterminate Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Anfal military campaign was launched between 1986 and 1989, but reached a high point in 1988 when it is estimated, in one year alone, 182,000 Kurds were disappeared, many of whom it is feared were summarily executed, and left buried in mass graves in clandestine desert locations. Around 182,000 civilians were killed as part of this campaign.
The bloodiest event of the entire operation came on 16 March 1988 after Iraqi military forces launched chemical attacks on the Kurdish town of Halabja, killing at least 5,000 people and injuring at least 7,000. Since this attack, thousands more have died or suffer from long-term illness, in particular women and children, as a result of these attacks.
UNPO will attend a series of events in Iraqi Kurdistan to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Halabja massacre.
UNPO will also hold events this month in The Hague and Brussels to commemorate the victims of the Kurdish Genocide, as part of an ongoing campaign to promote international recognition of the Kurdish Genocide, with legislative steps underway in Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom to formally recognise Saddam's crimes against Iraqi Kurds as acts of genocide.
Picture by Adam Jones