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Update: Shepherds 17-March-2004

The "Green Line"

We have been spending time in Sulimanya, northern Iraq with demining teams from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG). Traveling out each day to the former "green line" between Kurdish-controlled areas and the govt of Iraq. Since the war last year, the Iraqi army has abandoned its installations and facilities. The area suffered heavily during the Anfal campaign and now villagers who were kicked out in 1988 are returning to their land to rebuild and resettle. All the villages were systematically destroyed during the campaign - there is literally nothing left but rolling green hills and minefields. We have spent a lot of time filming at Qadr Karaam, the site of a mosque in which MAG found landmines and ordnance stored when the govt troops pulled out. It is an extremely beautiful area and the weather has been sunny and clear.

Injured Shepherds

We've been into the homes of shepherds maimed while out tending to their flock. We've talked to a new team of MAG deminers that includes Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. Today we visited a small village outside of Kirkuk together with MAG's mine risk education team, which was also visiting for the first time. About 12 minefields surround the place and the villagers are keen to get some clearance started, but there are security concerns.

For more information, please check out:

Mines Advisory Group

Human Rights Watch release on Qadr Karaam mosque

HRW report on the Anfal Campaign (July 1993)