Anfal families need real help not sympathy - Mufid Abdulla

On the 14th of this month the mass funeral ceremony of 187 victims of the Anfal massacre in the Mla Sora district of Garmyan took place and according to eyewitness accounts, open protests and demonstrations had been organised to coincide with the timing of the ceremony against the two ruling parties. These accounts confirm that the wife of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani left the scene of the ceremony upon hearing the protests in order to avoid any further embarrassment.

Garmyan was the scene of a great struggle during the liberation period 1977 to 1990s. That is the paradox of this affair; that any attempt to drag the people of Gharmyan through the mud has succeeded instead of exposing the moral and political vacuity of the PUK. The protest and anger of these families has arisen due to the realisation that the Kurdistan Regional Government has done so little for them after all these years following Saddam’s Anfal campaign in which it is estimated that 182,000 Kurds died, villages were wiped out and at least a million of Kurdistan’s estimated 3.5 million population was displaced. It is the government’s own supporters who have been most outraged by the events of the past few months.

This situation has left the PUK staring on an abyss of nothingness. The PUK is a party and organisation whose political version has rarely extended beyond the organisation of the mass funeral for the Anfal families. At the funeral ceremony neither of the Kurdish leaders Talabani or Barzani attended the scene which would have been an opportunity for them to at least mark their respect for these families and instead they just sent their own representatives. The Anfal families were shown further disrespect with the fact that they were not allowed to read their personal speeches at the ceremony.

When was the last time any political leader had anything interesting to say about any issue of substance, other than the language of intimidation and threat? Not a single political leader could convince these poor people that the PUK and KDP can restore confidence in the hearts and minds of people. That confidence was shattered a long time ago by the corruption and deceit of these leaders. It appears that the authority has learned nothing from the pain and hardship of people. According to reliable sources, people are outraged at the lack of a support system from the government for the Anfal families in Gharmyan of those that died in Saddam’s genocide. Although what has occurred is undoubtedly a tragic series of events we can find some good from this in the fact that the outrage has made Kurdish citizens take action and demonstrate that we are not prepared to take any more of this treatment and are no longer prepared to accept the stalemate with regards to progress in Kurdistan.


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April 17, 2009
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