chapter  1
15 Pages

A country in the making: memory and human rights in the Kurdistan region

A government for the Kurdistanis: the Kurdistan regional government 1991-2014 When in 1991, after the Gulf War, the Iraqi government decided to withdraw its presence from the Kurdish populated areas, Kurds were suddenly left to face the consequences of years of war, forced displacement, oppression, genocide and lack of self-government. Paradoxically, the vacuum of power left by Baghdad did not cause the catastrophic consequences envisaged by the central government. On the contrary, due to the support of an international community sympathetic to their demands and to their tragedies, the media coverage of the 1991 exodus and the dissemination of the atrocities committed by the Ba’ath regime, together with the contribution of the vast Kurdish community in the diaspora, Kurds managed to organize themselves into a basic, traditional political organization based on the experience of the guerrilla war and its military logic.