KRG High Representative presents Lambeth Town Hall with a Sculpture commemorating the Halabja Genocide
News : 11/3/2023
On Wednesday, November 01st, 2023,
High Representative to the UK, Karwan Jamal Tahir, attended a special unveiling
ceremony event in honour of the victims
of the 1988 Halabja massacre during the genocidal Anfal campaign against the
This sculpture commemorates the
victims of the atrocity and genocide against the Kurdish population of Halabja,
and it is being presented by the High Representative of the Kurdistan Region to
the Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr Sarbaz Barznji, in recognition of his support and
the first commemoration of the Halabja massacre in Lambeth Town Hall in March
2023 and will be displayed and stay in the Town Hall.
The unveiling ceremony was well
attended by many in the community and was hosted by the Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr
Sarbaz Barznji, in which the High Representative addressed the attendees.
Read the High Representative’s
“I am honoured to be here today
at this special gathering to honour the victims from a peaceful and resilient
Kurdish nation that has strived for and been devoted to peace and democracy
“I am particularly grateful, and
it is one of the most significant and emotional moments of my tenure as High
representative to the UK to attend – the unveiling of the memorial monument,
remembering and honouring the victims of Halabja city who were unlawfully
massacred under the rule of Saddam Husain the dictatorial regime, where 5000
innocent men, women, and children were brutally murdered within a matter of
hours and injuring a further 10,000 civilians by the chemical bombardment of
the city on the 16th of March 1988.
“The regime intended to commit
genocide and ethnically cleanse the Kurdish nation to destroy the voice of our
“The Kurds survived and prospered
as the indigenous inhabitants on their own land and inside their own nation –
But the tyrant and the dictatorial regime were overthrown.
“Subsequently, the Kurdish cause
and their legitimate narratives were acknowledged and realised internationally
due to their significant role in preserving peace and stability.
“For the last three decades,
there has been a huge transformation for the region;
- From being an oppressed people - to a very developed and progressed region.
- From rejecting being subordinate - to a nation that enjoys autonomy in a federated state that developed economically and socially despite the challenges, we endured with the federal state over the constitutional dispute.
“The region also plays a
substantial role regionally and internationally, contributing to preserving
security and stability in the region.
Ladies and gentlemen
“We remember our past to
safeguard and build the future, and one important mandate that the Kurdistan
Region and the Kurdish community have is to;
- ensure that people from every background are educated about our history and the Halabja,
- raising awareness worldwide about what we endured, and for the important lessons to be learned for today - that this must never happen again.
“We are blessed with the level of
support we receive here in the UK; we maintain robust bilateral ties with
the government and massive support from the MPs and Lords.
“They have been instrumental in
many positive steps between the UK and Kurdistan, and one of them was the
formal recognition by the (UK Parliament) House of Commons of the Anfal
genocide in February 2013.
“I have to acknowledge the role
of the Kurdish community here in the UK in further enhancing the relationship
between KRI and the UK.
“We are incredibly proud of those
with Kurdish roots who are making a positive impact here in the UK and
representing the very best of the Kurdish nation.
“They are contributing
politically, economically and socially within the British society – one of the
best examples we have with us today, is the host - Mr Mayor Sarbaz Barzinji.
“As a Kurd and High
Representative of the Kurdistan Region, I deeply value the mayor’s efforts and
devotion to all communities in Lambeth, including the Kurdish community.
“I have to say how grateful I was
when Mayor Sarbaz Barzinji hosted a commemoration rally for the Halabja
massacre here in March this year.
“I also recognise his effort in
obtaining permission to inaugurate a monument here at Lamberth Town Hall,
reflecting the suppression the Kurds endured but also representing their
resilience and the enduring spirit of the Kurdish people.
“I was happy to support this
project and be able to find a sponsor for this monument and dedicate it to
Lambeth Borough. It was sculptured in the Kurdistan Region by a Kurdish
sculptor and transferred to London.
“It is an honour and privilege
that today, at the Mayor's Parlour in Lambeth, we unveil the monument of
Halabja to stand in this great town hall to proudly represent the resilience
and devotion of a nation and community for peace and democracy.
“Not only that but also raising
the Kurdish flag in the Town Hall, which many heroes have fallen beneath to
protect the Kurdish nation and humanity, particularly.
“I am pleased that this day
coincides with the liberation of the town of Kobani from the jihadist group
(ISIS), where 9 years ago, the besiege of Kobani brought together the Kurdish
people against a common enemy in a "transcendent moment" - when for
the first time the Kurdistan Region have sent Peshmerga forces, heavy weapons,
and ammunition to Kobani to assist the Kurdish fighters in the fight against
the militant group.
“This is a powerful message of
what we can achieve through unity and cooperation."
“Thank you, Mayor, thank you all
for being here; we believe that together, we will ensure that this history, as
well as the victims and survivors of the Halabja massacre, are never forgotten.
“And being among our good friends
and colleagues demonstrates that Kurdistan has more friends than the mountains.”