Xantur Kara: The UN is a party to the attacks on Makhmour
“The UN is responsible for the Makhmour refugee camp since it is recognized by the UNHCR. The UN is a party to the attacks on it by remaining silent,” said Xantur Kara, coordinating member of the İştar Assembly in the Makhmour refugee camp.
Makhmour- The Iraqi army has tried to surround the Martyr Rustem Cudi Camp (Makhmour Refugee Camp) with wire fences and concrete blocks by using armored vehicles, construction machines and law enforcement forces since May 20, 2023. Despite the attacks and attempts of the Iraqi army, the residents of the camp have been resisting.
In an interview with NuJINHA, Xantur Kara, coordinating member of the İştar Assembly in the Makhmour refugee camp, talked about the resistance of the people in the camp and the silence of the United Nations (UN) against the attacks on the camp.
‘The people of Makhmour have resisted for 30 years’
Xantur Kara thanked all the political parties, which support the people of Makhmour and said, “A unique resistance has been waged in the camp this week. The people keep resisting the attacks. The people of Makhmour have resisted all kinds of attacks for 30 years. Since the first day, all people, including women, young and old people, have waged a resistance against the attacks on the camp.”
‘This attack has been carried out over the request of Turkey’
Pointing to the Turkish attacks on the camp for 30 years, she said, “Even though the Iraqi army has been carrying out this attack on the camp, we know very well that this attack has been actually carried out over the request of the Turkish state. The aim of this attack is not only to surround the camp with wire fences and concrete blocks but also to destroy our system. Everyone knows that the people of the camp have governed themselves. We have been living in the camp for more than 20 years and there are Kurdish and Arab people around us. Until now, we have had no problems with our neighbors.”
‘We have been going through an extraordinary period’
“As the residents of the camp, we have been going through an extraordinary period,” Xantur Kara said, “The people of all ages resist the attack of the Iraqi army. When we face the mobility and attacks of Iraqi soldiers, we show our firm stance without being afraid of their weapons and armored vehicles. The footage shows how children, young people and women resist and force the Iraqi army forces to leave the camp.”
‘The UN is a party to the attacks on the camp’
The Makhmour refugee camp is the home of thousands of people, who were forcibly displaced from Bakurê Kurdistan (Northern Kurdistan) after their villages and houses were burned down by the Turkish soldiers in the 1990s.
“Since the 1990s, they have resisted despite paying a heavy price. We do not know what will happen next. But we will resist without hesitation no matter what will happen. Our community has governed themselves until now. We believe in the power of our community. The UN is responsible for the Makhmour refugee camp since it is recognized by the UNHCR. However, it has not fulfilled its responsibility. The UN is a party to the attacks on it by remaining silent. Our people have protected themselves against all kinds of attacks until now and they will protect themselves.”
Xantur Kara called on all Kurdish people to be in solidarity with the people of Makhmour.
‘The Iraqi government said the army would withdraw’
A delegation from the camp had several meetings with the Iraqi army. Speaking about these meetings, Xantur Kara said, “We had many meetings in a week. After the meetings, the Iraqi government told us that the Iraqi army would withdraw from the camp; however, the army has been intensifying its attacks. Yesterday, they tried to enter the camp by using heavy weapons, armored vehicles and construction machines. As the administration of the camp, our aim is to solve this problem through dialogue. Such attacks do not serve the interests of the Iraqi government or the people of Makhmour.”