The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) released a statement on the 35th anniversary of the Enfal Massacre, paying tribute to the victims and highlighting the failure of the Iraqi and regional governments to address the demands of families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
The Enfal Massacre, perpetrated by the Ba’ath regime against Kurds, has left an indelible mark on the Kurdish people, with the KNK noting in their statement that “Kurdish people have been subjected to genocide and massacre throughout their history. The occupiers of Kurdistan have used all their powers to eliminate the Kurdish people. Inhumane plans have been carried out against the Kurdish people in all parts of Kurdistan in the past 100 years. The international community has not helped to find a solution that is in line with the legitimate cause of the Kurds during this century.”
The statement highlights that 35 years have passed since the Enfal Massacre, which was intended to wipe out the Kurdish people, but the plan failed. The governments of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have not been able to address the demands of families who lost loved ones in the massacre, nor have they paid the compensation owed to them.
The KNK also highlighted that mass graves have not been opened, and families are still waiting to receive the bones of their loved ones. The organisation calls for the inclusion of Enfal in education programs and for the creation of a national strategy to address the issue.
In response to the anniversary, Iraq’s President, Latif Rashid, took to Twitter to call for solidarity against the crime of the Enfal Massacre. He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and called for the creation of a democratic state to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
Bafil Talabani, the General Secretary of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), also issued a statement, declaring that “Enfal is a great wound in our hearts and a continuous pain in our souls. Enfal is a historical lesson that should not be forgotten. The Enfal Massacre requires us to develop our unity and solidarity to prevent such massacres and pains from happening again. The fate of the Kurds is shared.”
The Enfal Massacre, which occurred in the Kurdistan region of Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era, was a devastating attack against the Kurdish people. Between 1986 and 1989, the Ba’ath regime carried out a series of brutal attacks against the Kurds, including aerial bombings, use of chemical weapons, mass killings, destruction of settlements, forced displacement, and more.
The Enfal Massacre, which is considered one of the worst civilian massacres in history, claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 people, destroyed 4,500 villages and displaced over one million people. The 1988-1989 period saw the worst of the Enfal campaign, culminating in the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish people in the city of Halabja on 16 March 1988. In 2010, the Iraqi High Criminal Court recognized the Halabja Massacre as a genocide, a classification also adopted by the Iraqi Parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government.