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The last hope of Sole Survivors of Anfal

The last hope of Sole Survivors of Anfal
An Anfal survivor among the remains of who had been killed during Anfal genocide

Peregraf- Haval Zangana

Haji Muhammad had been grieving for his Children for 27 years; up to the end of Ba’eth regime, he had been waiting for their return and after the disappearance of Ba’eth, his only hope was for their remains to be brought home, but to no avail.

This aged man from Chamchamal did not shave his beard after the Anfal Campaigns and cried for his children. He finally died before seeing any hope at the age of 85.

Haji Muhammad is the typical example of the relatives of thousands of victims of Anfal who, after 31 years of Anfal, are still waiting for the remains of their relatives and for tests to be done to reveal their identities.

Haji Mohammed passed away without fulfilling his dream which was returning the remains of his children 

The most disheartened ones in this process are the lonely Anfal victims (the victims whose relatives were all killed in Anfal campaigns). They are worried that they will die and their relatives will remain forever unknown as DNA tests have not been done for them for comparison against the ones of the Anfal remains.

"We want the tests to be done for us and the results compared to the remains of Anfal. We want a sepulcher to be built as commemoration for them so that their beloved ones can visit them" Adl Majid told Peregraf.

Adl aged 46, comes from the Serchnar village in Axjalar province. He is a lonely Anfal victim after losing his parents, two brothers, two sisters and other relatives in the campaign.

When the Anfal Campaign was conducted, Adl had only been 15 years old and he had been through hard times. He had been staying at a relative’s place in another village and when he went back to his village to join his family, he found it abandoned.

Adil Majid one of the sole survivors of Anfal

The story of Adl traces back to stage four of Anfal Campaign which lasted from the 3rd of May to the 15th of May in 1988 when the villages of Axjalar, Taqtaq, Little Zab areas, Goptapa and Askar were attacked by gas bombs.

After having a hard day, Adl family had heard that if they went to Taqtaq and surrendered themselves in, they would be forgiven.

"They saw people in the way that there would not be forgiveness, but we ignored them as we knew that we would be killed if we took a step back."

Most of them were women and children. Iraqi forces took their valuables and then they were sent to a camp where they were left starving.

"When I was with my parents, my mom gave me IQD 20 and told me I might need it." said Adl, "For a moment the door was opened and the guard was unaware, so I managed to flee. They shot at me but they missed."

After his escape, Adl’s family were taken to Ngrasalman in the south of Iraq where they were killed.

After everything he has been through, now Adl wishes he were with his family and did not leave them back then. And now, he wants his family’s bodies to be returned home at least and be buried in graves.

For Adl’s hope to be fulfilled, mass graves will have to be exhumed and DNA tests to be conducted in order to recognize the corpses.

The remains of a Kurdish person in the mass graves in southern Iraq

Dr Farhad Barznji, a DNA expert and the director of the Microgene Center told Peregraf "to identify Anfal remains, samples have to be taken from bones, blood, hair, saliva, nail and skin of the victim’s relatives." He further explained "in the comparison of the samples, the DNA of parents and children should match at least 99%; for siblings, the DNAs should be at least 96% the same and the rate changes according to the relationship."

"For Anfal victims we can take samples from the bones. If the victims are the parents, we can take samples from their children or the other way around."

The expert states that the process is not difficult and we can take samples from the relatives of the victims before they die. Then their results can be compared to the remains of Anfal.

"Taking samples from 200 people costs USD 700 and if the results are to be compared with the remains, it will cost IQD 300000 for each one, which is not a huge amount for the government. It costs USD10 million to build a standard DNA laboratory." Said Dr Farhad.

To prevent the identities of the relatives of the Anfal survivors to remain unknown after their death, it is suggested that DNA samples to be taken from them and the results to be kept safe for future use.

Ismail Hanaraiy, a relative of Anfal victims and the author of Lonely Anfal Victims told Peregraf "in the Kurdistan Region, we have 164 Anfal survivors, 5 others have died."

A mass grave of the ones who had been killed during the Anfal in southern Iraq 

In the Kurdistan Region, from 182000 victims of Anfal only 2500 remains were brought back from south deserts and they are buried in a monument for Anfal.

Up to the fall of the Ba’eth regime, some of the relatives of Anfal victims were hopeful that their lost relatives might return alive, but they despaired at the sight of mass graves.

Fuad Othman, the spokesman of the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, told Peregraf "the Ministry of Martyrs will take DNA samples from the remains that have been found and brought home. They are all given specific codes. What is left is to take DNA samples from the victims’ relatives which needs significant efforts and we do not have the necessary laboratory to do that." He also stated that they have asked every foreign delegation to open a DNA laboratory.

The Anfal Campaigns was conducted in 1988 and continued for seven months. Throughout the whole campaign, 182000 Kurds were killed, also thousands of Kurdish village had been destroyed.

The cruelest part of Anfal campaign is the third part in which every single villages had been destroyed in Gramyan, most of the people were forcibly taken to the camps in southern Iraq provinces.

Grieving of a mother who has lost many of his relatives in Anfal genocide; 31th anniversary of Anfal. Video: Peregraf, Haval Zangana April 14, 2019.

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The last hope of Sole Survivors of Anfal

2019-04-14 18:15:51

Peregraf- Haval Zangana

Haji Muhammad had been grieving for his Children for 27 years; up to the end of Ba’eth regime, he had been waiting for their return and after the disappearance of Ba’eth, his only hope was for their remains to be brought home, but to no avail.

This aged man from Chamchamal did not shave his beard after the Anfal Campaigns and cried for his children. He finally died before seeing any hope at the age of 85.

Haji Muhammad is the typical example of the relatives of thousands of victims of Anfal who, after 31 years of Anfal, are still waiting for the remains of their relatives and for tests to be done to reveal their identities.

Haji Mohammed passed away without fulfilling his dream which was returning the remains of his children 

The most disheartened ones in this process are the lonely Anfal victims (the victims whose relatives were all killed in Anfal campaigns). They are worried that they will die and their relatives will remain forever unknown as DNA tests have not been done for them for comparison against the ones of the Anfal remains.

"We want the tests to be done for us and the results compared to the remains of Anfal. We want a sepulcher to be built as commemoration for them so that their beloved ones can visit them" Adl Majid told Peregraf.

Adl aged 46, comes from the Serchnar village in Axjalar province. He is a lonely Anfal victim after losing his parents, two brothers, two sisters and other relatives in the campaign.

When the Anfal Campaign was conducted, Adl had only been 15 years old and he had been through hard times. He had been staying at a relative’s place in another village and when he went back to his village to join his family, he found it abandoned.

Adil Majid one of the sole survivors of Anfal

The story of Adl traces back to stage four of Anfal Campaign which lasted from the 3rd of May to the 15th of May in 1988 when the villages of Axjalar, Taqtaq, Little Zab areas, Goptapa and Askar were attacked by gas bombs.

After having a hard day, Adl family had heard that if they went to Taqtaq and surrendered themselves in, they would be forgiven.

"They saw people in the way that there would not be forgiveness, but we ignored them as we knew that we would be killed if we took a step back."

Most of them were women and children. Iraqi forces took their valuables and then they were sent to a camp where they were left starving.

"When I was with my parents, my mom gave me IQD 20 and told me I might need it." said Adl, "For a moment the door was opened and the guard was unaware, so I managed to flee. They shot at me but they missed."

After his escape, Adl’s family were taken to Ngrasalman in the south of Iraq where they were killed.

After everything he has been through, now Adl wishes he were with his family and did not leave them back then. And now, he wants his family’s bodies to be returned home at least and be buried in graves.

For Adl’s hope to be fulfilled, mass graves will have to be exhumed and DNA tests to be conducted in order to recognize the corpses.

The remains of a Kurdish person in the mass graves in southern Iraq

Dr Farhad Barznji, a DNA expert and the director of the Microgene Center told Peregraf "to identify Anfal remains, samples have to be taken from bones, blood, hair, saliva, nail and skin of the victim’s relatives." He further explained "in the comparison of the samples, the DNA of parents and children should match at least 99%; for siblings, the DNAs should be at least 96% the same and the rate changes according to the relationship."

"For Anfal victims we can take samples from the bones. If the victims are the parents, we can take samples from their children or the other way around."

The expert states that the process is not difficult and we can take samples from the relatives of the victims before they die. Then their results can be compared to the remains of Anfal.

"Taking samples from 200 people costs USD 700 and if the results are to be compared with the remains, it will cost IQD 300000 for each one, which is not a huge amount for the government. It costs USD10 million to build a standard DNA laboratory." Said Dr Farhad.

To prevent the identities of the relatives of the Anfal survivors to remain unknown after their death, it is suggested that DNA samples to be taken from them and the results to be kept safe for future use.

Ismail Hanaraiy, a relative of Anfal victims and the author of Lonely Anfal Victims told Peregraf "in the Kurdistan Region, we have 164 Anfal survivors, 5 others have died."

A mass grave of the ones who had been killed during the Anfal in southern Iraq 

In the Kurdistan Region, from 182000 victims of Anfal only 2500 remains were brought back from south deserts and they are buried in a monument for Anfal.

Up to the fall of the Ba’eth regime, some of the relatives of Anfal victims were hopeful that their lost relatives might return alive, but they despaired at the sight of mass graves.

Fuad Othman, the spokesman of the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, told Peregraf "the Ministry of Martyrs will take DNA samples from the remains that have been found and brought home. They are all given specific codes. What is left is to take DNA samples from the victims’ relatives which needs significant efforts and we do not have the necessary laboratory to do that." He also stated that they have asked every foreign delegation to open a DNA laboratory.

The Anfal Campaigns was conducted in 1988 and continued for seven months. Throughout the whole campaign, 182000 Kurds were killed, also thousands of Kurdish village had been destroyed.

The cruelest part of Anfal campaign is the third part in which every single villages had been destroyed in Gramyan, most of the people were forcibly taken to the camps in southern Iraq provinces.

Grieving of a mother who has lost many of his relatives in Anfal genocide; 31th anniversary of Anfal. Video: Peregraf, Haval Zangana April 14, 2019.