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Parliament calls for better services and compensation for Anfal survivors and families in Garmian and Chamchamal

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq on 14 April, the 33rd anniversary of the Anfal genocide against the Kurds, presided over a sitting on the situation for Anfal survivors and families in Garmian and Chamchamal and the provision of services for them. MPs made many recommendations, which will be raised with the relevant authorities.

Deputy Speaker Dr. Hemin Hawrami and Secretary Muna Kahveci sat alongside the Speaker, and the KRG Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Abdullah Haji Mahmood was present to answer MP’s questions.

Speaker Faiq gave her best wishes to Yazidis for the Yazidi New Year and Charshama Sur.

The special Parliament committee formed to visit Garmian and Chamchamal read out their report on their findings and recommendations. The report noted the stages of the Ba’ath regime’s Anfal campaign, the victims killed and the destruction inflicted.

The MPs who compiled the report called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, for more efforts to gain international recognition of the crimes as genocide in international courts, and for reparations to be made for material and moral damages to the survivors and their families.

The report detailed the problems, complaints and needs of Anfal survivors and families in Garmian and Chamchamal and the shortages and problems with services such as water, electricity, roads and education, lack of development, the need to create remembrance monuments for the victims, providing job opportunities for young people, employing graduates and many other services to revitalize the economic infrastructure of these areas.

Many MPs commended the special committee for their report and backed their recommendations, in particular noting that the Government must focus more on improving services to develop the areas that have been set back by the Anfal campaign and seen enormous suffering, and they put many questions to Minister Haji Mahmood.

MPs also asked for the special committee’s report to be sent to the KRG Council of Ministers through Parliament’s Presidency.

Minister Abdullah Haji Mahmood commended the committee’s report and noted that the Ministry is continuing to follow up with the Iraqi federal authorities on the repatriation of victims’ remains from mass graves in other parts of Iraq.

"The KRG and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs continue to fulfill our responsibilities towards the survivors and families of the Anfal and other atrocities committed against the Kurdish people,” he said.

Speaker Faiq said, “The recommendations in this report have to be divided and worked on separately. The one on passing a resolution needs MPs’ signatures first to back a draft resolution and submit it to Parliament’s Presidency. Others are related to obligating or let’s say calling on the Iraqi Government to compensate the families of Anfal victims and martyrs, according to its constitutional responsibilities which the committee’s report refers to.”

She continued, “The recommendations on providing and improving services for Chamchamal, Shoresh, Takiya, Kifri, Kalar and Rizgari, cannot be put to a vote right now as they are, because: first, Parliament cannot put this obligation on itself when it hasn’t yet worked through the steps of gathering MPs’ signatures and then drafting and passing the resolution; second, the Kurdistan Parliament cannot obligate the Iraqi Government, but the Iraqi Council of Representatives can; third, the KRG has just issued an instruction about creating monuments. And most important of all, on the issue that we have discussed with the authorities before, water in Chamchamal and the Goptapa water project, and this is Kurdistan Parliament’s responsibility to ensure that it is included in the Kurdistan Region 2021 budget bill when we receive it. You have to decide the priorities. You need to prepare a draft resolution and work on it together as MPs and we in the Presidency will support you.”

“Regarding Kurdistan Parliament’s recommendations and demands that are related to Iraq, we in Parliament’s Presidency will put these demands to the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Iraqi Government, and we will support the KRG’s steps in asking for compensation according to the Constitution that the Iraqi Government must follow, and according to the Iraqi Government’s obligations regarding the previous regime’s crimes.”

Speaker Faiq also said, “We task the special committee with separating MPs’ comments and demands according to the responsibilities of the Kurdistan Parliament, of the Iraqi Government and/or Council of Representatives, and of the KRG. Then we will send each of them to the relevant bodies.”