215 sites identified, having mass graves

The Manager of the Mass stated “There could be more than few mass graves in one site, and in one grave there is more than 100 corpses”
the Manager of the Mass Graves in Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Dana Amin Mansur (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
the Manager of the Mass Graves in Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Dana Amin Mansur (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – In an interview with Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday, The Manager of the Mass Graves in Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Dana Amin Mansur revealed the law number 8, year 2006, bond 2, part 10 tackling the mass grave and finding the martyrs (killed people), exhuming the remainders of their buried corpse, returning to the place of the origin and bury them accordingly all that is in the care of the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal.

It is very well known the mass graves in Iraq date back to Baath regime time, then during ISIS terrorists attack on Shingal.

“There is a cooperation between the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs and the General management for mass grave” Mansur stated.

Read More: Iraq, a country filled with mass graves

Mansur affirmed there is 215 sites identified as having mass graves.

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Mansur highlighted “There could be more than few mass graves in one site. For example, in Samawa city site, one mass grave was exhumed, followed by finding many more mass graves, each grave could have more than 100 corpses’ remainders”

“It is noticed the procedure is slow for Kurdistan Region, while in Baghdad it is an ongoing process. There is a protecting law to Iraqi mass graves in Baghdad, which already gave consent to the General Directorate of the Iraqi Mass Graves of the Martyrs to disinter the mass graves” Mansur continued.

The Ministry of Martyrs by law, the bond 6, and a board of 9 parts formed, the ministry is a part of this board, the Police service, the Legislation Council exist in the board as well as the governorate where the mass grave is in and more parts exist in the board.

“The board works on the decisions about disinterring the mass graves, in the bond 3 of the same law, defines the board’s duty; unfortunately, the mass graves locate in the mid and south of Iraq” Mansur believed.

According to the sources the law only selected the Iraqi Mass Graves to deal with that. The ministry is a member in the board that decides about grave exhuming, so there is not a control on that.

“The co-operation between all of them is very well, the mass graves have not only Kurdish, and there are Arabs, Turkmen, Christians and victims of the battle against ISIS” Mansur added.

Baghdad has its own annual plan, whenever there is Kurd in a mass grave, a delay in the process occurs.

He thought this delay is related to the political purposes from Baghdad like all other related issues to Kurdistan Region. Since 2005 they’re working on mass graves’ cause. They have done very much work, but very little work is done in comparison when the victims are Kurdish. It could’ve been better, but, unfortunately, the law doesn’t allow Kurdistan Region to owning the work and supervise it.

The board is only a member since 2015, before then there wasn’t any access or control, apart from sessions, letters and meeting arrangement.

“There is not any survey or statistics from Baghdad either. The genocide crime secretly committed, what has been found as a result of a coincidence, such as a farmer was digging the earth, or a shepherd would find a human bone which would lead to unraveling a mass grave after their reporting to the local authority” Mansur stated.

What has been gathered, formed and confirmed in the database, yet there are 182 thousand Kurds being anfald and we have 8 thousands Barzani people buried, it probably covers 200 or 300 mass graves.

It is confirmed officially by Baghdad, there is between 9-11 mass graves in Samawa desert, and there are Kurds among the victims.

“There are challenges facing the work, unearthing mass graves is a very hard and detailed job, needs time. There is not enough budget, there is very small support internationally, to disinter the corpses’ remainders should be academically and scientifically done, and digging a mass grave takes from 20 days to 1 month. In summer time it is harder to work in the desert” Mansur added

Mansur revealed “Since the beginning of exhuming the mass graves, ICMP supervised the work, it a very good team in Iraq, yet the procedure needs and takes time; it is a very accurate detailed job”

The ministry of Martyrs and Anfal always worked hard, to find, work on unearthing mass graves and did a great work as a part of their job, he believed.  

The Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region were very cooperative and supportive to the Ministry of Martyrs in the mass graves cause, they provided the necessary budget.

The mass graves aren’t within the region and the law doesn’t allow us, Baghdad did a job. She previously worked on Shingal mass grave.