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Fri, 29 Nov 2013 18:11:37

US Congress to consider recognition of Kurdish genocide

London, UK (KRG.org) – Two members of the US Congress have tabled a resolution calling on the House of Representatives and the government to recognise the genocide against the Kurds in Iraq.

On November 19th 2013, United States Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Marsha Blackburn introduced resolution H.RES.422 to recognise the campaign of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq through which it reaffirms its commitment to the friendship between the United States and the Kurdish people in Iraq.

The resolution deplores the genocide crimes committed against the Kurdish people and calls for the United States Government to examine the decades-long campaign aimed at exterminating the Kurds and to recognise the crimes as acts of genocide according to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UN Genocide Convention), to which the United States is a signatory.

The recognition of the Kurdish genocide by the US Government will send to the world a message of support for human rights and justice, the resolution says.

The bi-partisan motion presented by the Representatives Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Democratic Party, and Marsha Blackbern of the Republican Party, has been submitted and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which considers issues that impact the diplomatic community.

The resolution notes that this year is the 25th anniversary of the chemical weapons attack on Halabja, March 16th 1988, during which 5,000 men, women, and children were killed and thousands severely injured, and the months-long Anfal campaign, 1987-88, which killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

The genocide against the Kurdish people began with the arabisation of villages around Kirkuk in 1963. It involved the deportation and disappearances of Faylee Kurds in the 1970s and 80s, the murder of 8,000 male Barzanis in 1983, the use of chemical weapons in the late 1980s, most notably against Halabja in 1988, and finally the Anfal campaign of 1987-88.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent people disappeared, families were devastated, many continue to have serious health problems, and over 4,500 villages were destroyed between 1976 and 1988.

On February 28th this year, the British Parliament formally recognised the Kurdish genocide in Iraq. The British Parliament’s House of Commons agreed to the motion:

"That this House formally recognises the genocide against the people of Iraqi Kurdistan; encourages governments, the EU and UN to do likewise; believes that this will enable Kurdish people, many in the UK, to achieve justice for their considerable loss; and further believes that it would enable the UK, the home of democracy and freedom, to send out a message of support for international conventions and human rights, which is made even more pressing by the slaughter in Syria and the possible use of chemical arsenals."

In addition to the recognition of Kurdish genocide by the British Parliament, Norwegian Government, Swedish and South Korean Parliament have recognised the crimes against the Kurdish people as acts of genocide this year.

The resolution is available here: http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-resolution/422