Baghdad, 14 April 2021 – To commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Anfal campaign that killed and disappeared large numbers of Kurds, the International Commission on Missing Persons reiterated that the rights of victims and their families to truth, justice and reparations must be secured.
The Baath regime’s Anfal campaign involved military operations, attacks with chemical weapons, mass disappearances and other atrocities.
“ICMP pays its respects to all families of victims of the Anfal campaign, many of whom are still waiting for answers – as are families of victims of other atrocities committed by the Baath regime,” said Alexander Hug, head of ICMP in Iraq. “We are committed to supporting Iraqi authorities and families of victims in efforts to put in place a sustainable process to locate, recover and identify missing persons, and to secure their families’ rights, based on an impartial rule-of-law based approach.”
ICMP assists the Martyrs Foundation and Ministry of Health in Federal Iraq and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs in the Kurdish Region of Iraq in efforts to create a sustainable process to account for all missing persons in the country, regardless of their ethnic, religious, or national background, the circumstances of their disappearance or their citizenship. This support includes the formulation of policy initiatives to address the needs of the families of the missing and efforts to expand the Iraq’s institutional and legal capacity related to missing persons.
ICMP’s support to the Iraqi government also includes training scientists in advanced DNA identification procedures, supporting excavations of mass graves and the collection of genetic reference samples, as well as supporting civil society organizations and families of the missing in efforts to secure their rights to justice, truth and reparations.
ICMP works with the authorities to advance an impartial approach to the issue of the missing and to foster collaboration among religious and national groups. It also assists in efforts to establish a central record of missing persons and to facilitate dialogue between the government and families of the missing and civil society organizations.
ICMP’s work in Iraq is financed by the Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.
ICMP is a treaty-based international organization that seeks to ensure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration, and other causes, and to assist them in doing so. ICMP also supports the work of other organizations in their efforts, encourages public involvement in its activities and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration and tribute to the missing.