Makhmour (Mexmûr) refugee camp, located in Mosul and built by Kurdish refugees in the 1990s, is facing renewed threats as the Iraqi army attempts to surround it with wire fences.
The camp, which is about 100 kilometres away from the city of Hewlêr in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, has been under blockade for four years since an attack in 2019. Filiz Budak, Co-chair of the Makhmour People’s Assembly, has called for Kurds and their allies to stand up against these dangerous actions.
The residents of Makhmour camp have been resisting the Iraqi soldiers’ attempts to surround the camp since 20 May. The soldiers recently blockaded water wells in the Shahid Robar neighbourhood. Despite the ongoing siege attempts, Budak expressed determination to continue the struggle for democracy and resist the attacks.
Budak highlighted the unjustified nature of the siege attempts, pointing out that for years the camp has been under the control and supervision of the United Nations (UN). She emphasised that the camp’s residents have been peaceful and have not posed any threat to the Iraqi government. Budak accused Turkey and the Barzani family of collaborating with the Iraqi government to turn Makhmour camp into an open prison.
The Izmir Peace Mothers Assembly also condemned the blockade attempts, organising a press conference to express their solidarity. They criticised Masoud Barzani for failing to fulfil his duties and allowing the persecution to continue in the camp. The assembly called for an end to the oppression and urged Barzani to extend the hand of brotherhood and “respect the blood of the martyrs and the suffering of the mothers.”