Via Rudaw — As Iraq’s Kurds marked the anniversary of the devastating 1988 attack on Halabja on Monday, earlier this month an important and related development took place in the United States.
On March 4, both the House and Senate Chambers passed resolutions declaring April as “Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month” in the southern state of Georgia. The resolution included wording pertaining to the Kurdish Anfal Genocide, a brutal campaign by ousted dictator Saddam Hussein that killed more than 180,000 Kurds and others in the 1980s and destroyed nearly 4,500 – 90 percent – of the villages in northern Iraqi Kurdistan region.
The documents also referred to the ongoing genocidal practices of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), which has deliberately been targeting the Yezidi Kurdish religious minority since the summer of 2014, massacring tens of thousands and enslaving women and children in an attempt to eradicate their religion and identity.
The bicameral resolution was drafted by members of the Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide (GCPG), which seeks to “create a permanent constituency in Georgia through advocacy, education, and action.” Several other civic organizations co-sponsored the resolution, including the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Kurdish Community Center of Georgia (KCC-GA). Additionally, several members of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Armenian, Jewish, and Kurdish communities showed their support by attending this 4th annual symbolic and historic event in the House and Senate chambers.
Select members of each community joined Melanie Nelkin, head of the GCPG as she applauded Georgia’s elected leaders on the floor for passing such an important piece of legislation. Nelkin further elaborated on the institutionalization of such commemorations of genocide as a moral imperative for everyone, and encouraged others to get involved and become more educated.[Read more at Rudaw]