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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Erbil to Compensate Anfal Victims From Oil Revenues

By Sangar Abdulrahman 28/11/2013
According to that law, the KRG can step in and compensate victims if Baghdad fails to do so within a predetermined timeframe.
According to that law, the KRG can step in and compensate victims if Baghdad fails to do so within a predetermined timeframe.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq plans to compensate victims of Baghdad’s many crackdowns against the Kurds out of revenues from oil exports, if Baghdad continues to ignore Erbil’s demands for compensation.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) estimates the total amount of claims at $387 billion.

According to a law passed by the Kurdistan Region’s own parliament in April 2013, the KRG can sell Kurdistan’s own oil without approval from Baghdad and use the funds to compensate families who suffered from Baghdad’s so-called “Anfal Campaign” and other brutalities against Iraq’s large Kurdish minority.

According to that law, the KRG can step in and compensate victims if Baghdad fails to do so within a predetermined timeframe. 

The KRG is set to begin its first direct oil exports next month through a newly-extended pipeline that will carry Kurdish oil to Turkey and markets beyond. Baghdad opposes direct oil deals by Erbil, saying all extraction and export contracts must go through the central government.

Erbil disagrees, citing constitutional articles and insisting that its exports are lawful because the revenues will be shared with the central government.

According to a request signed by Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani last July, the federal government must compensate those who suffered under the policies of former Iraqi governments from 1963-2003.

In another directive sent a month later, the KRG estimates total compensation at nearly $387 billion. The central government in Baghdad has so far failed to respond.

The KRG’s Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami told Rudaw that the compensation figure might seem high, but should be juxtaposed against losses. He noted that more than 200,000 Kurds were martyred, thousands of homes destroyed and the Kurdish regions devastated for three decades.

“If the federal government does not agree to compensation, according to the law Kurdistan can benefit from its natural resources, including extracting and selling oil  to compensate the victims,” said Ahmed Warti, a member of the Kurdish parliament’s legal committee. He said that, as a state, Iraq is responsible for the losses suffered by the people of Kurdistan.

“It’s a legitimate and legal right of the people of Kurdistan to be compensated for the losses,” agreed Nask Tofiq,  another Kurdish MP.

He expressed fear that the compensation issue is being raised just as a pretext by the KRG to begin the controversial oil exports.  “But my fear fades if a fund is set up from the oil money, which is transparent and supervised by the parliament,” he added.

The compensation bill had led to differences in parliament with the opposition Change Movement (Gorran), but Hawrami said he was sure the party would now stand behind the law.

“It’s a national achievement and I am sure Gorran and other parties will support it when the law is implemented,” Hawrami added.

Last April, Premier Barzani signed a seven-point agreement in Baghdad that included compensation by the central government to Kurdish victims of the Anfal and other crackdowns.

Hawrami noted that the present government in Erbil would soon be replaced, following the results of the parliamentary elections last September. “The next government in Kurdistan should take measures to implement the law,” he said.

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Kurdish Atheist | 28/11/2013
$387 BILLION? That is over $2.1 million per Anfal victim, which is very high. Don't get me wrong, Anfal victims deserve EVERY PENNY of it, but I doubt their family will receive $2.1 million USD per victim. I fear that they will receive $50K and that corrupt officials will put $2 million per victim in their own pockets. I am afraid they will steal the money which was meant for the family of the 1 month old babies who were buried alive... :(
FAUthman | 28/11/2013
If Baghdad is still compensating Kuwait for the destruction to Kuwait caused by Saddam Hussein`s war of 1991, an international tribunal, using the Kuwait precedent, should also rule in favor of compensation to the Kurds for their losses caused by Iraq`s Saddam Hussein before and after he was thrown out of Kuwait.
Efir | 28/11/2013
A civilized state which caused this deaths and wars would compensate the victims. But that's the fake and failed state Iraq, which compensate the arabs in Kuwait where only some hundred people died, but refused to compensate the Kurds for the 200 thousand deaths and the destroying of thousands of Kurdish villages. The KRG should not share its revenue from the oil export with Baghdad, Baghdad also not give Kurdistan its full share from the Budget.
itsOK | 28/11/2013
then why don't we sue baghdad? go to the International Criminal Court in den haag! do it if baghdad refuses and build up kurdistan!!!
KIM | 28/11/2013
4000 Kurdish villages were reduced to ashes during Saddam's regime. 300,000 Anfallad, 2-3 Millions became displaced and most lost their dwellings. There are some 5-7000 physically and mentally disabled individuals in S.Kurdistan today, Offspring of families of Halabja Chemical Shelling" victims continue to suffer from health problems up to now. They must be compensated by all those who were directly and indirectly involved, including foreign companies. This was no less than Jewish Holocaust or Genocides in Africa.
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