Wk223 Mapping Systems

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This is a presentation by Michael Amitay of the Washington Kurdish Institute, for the New Tactics World Symposium in 2004.

Past conflicts in northern Iraq, including the genocidal use of weapons of mass destruction, continue to take a severe toll on people’shealth and on the environment. The Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI), with its partners the University of Liverpool and the Halabja Postgraduate Medical Institute (a consortium of local physicians and academics) uses Geographic Information Systems analysis to correlate environmental, health and other data with attack sites. This helps local authorities create effective research, environmental safety and medical treatment programs, while adding to the body of knowledge about the long-term effects of chemical weapons that can help preparedness efforts around the world.

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Wk223 Mapping Systems

  1. 1. Using GIS to Support Conflict Recovery: A Response to Genocide and Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraqi Kurdish Communities Presented by Mike Amitay, Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI)
  2. 2. Washington Kurdish Institute University of Liverpool C. M. Gosden D. Gardener Royal Liverpool University Hospital United Kingdom Halabja Post-Graduate Medical Institute (HMI) Doctors, Medical Schools, Health Officials, NGOs, and communities throughout Iraqi Kurdistan (est.1999)
  3. 3. Our Program Goals • Help people and communities recover •Establishing sensitive treatment and medical research programs to account for complex long-term health effects of WMD exposure •Strengthen local responses with training / technical assistance •Help establish current risks of environmental contamination •Raise awareness of “silent genocide” and generate international assistance •Aid local and international conflict recovery and WMD preparedness/response efforts • Correlate WMD agents to specific medical disorders • Learn about attacks, survivors, health effects, best treatments
  4. 4. Integrating Data and Maps Mapping Software: ArcView GIS http://www.esri.com/ http://www.conservationgis.org/ecpstory/esriform.html • Political boundaries, population centers, roads, and waterways • Topographic relief, satellite images, and vegetation maps. Collect data with creative, culturally sensitive methods designed for specific mission and local sensitivities Health indicators Housing Conditions Water Sources Socio-Economic indicators Migration patterns Exposure to Conflict Environmental testing results
  5. 5. Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Effective tool for complex conflict recovery efforts Collect, Integrate, Share and Understand Data GENERAL BENEFITS 1. Inform effective responses 2. Enhance strategic planning and coalition building 3. Aid advocacy, education and public awareness efforts 4. Facilitate realistic needs assessments 5. Support critical local information infrastructures
  6. 6. VISUALIZING ETHNIC CLEANSING: AL-ANFAL : “THE SPOILS” • Military campaigns to subjugate and depopulate Kurdish areas at the end of Iran-Iraq War (Spring 1987 – Autumn 1988) •Climax in decades-long effort by Baghdad regimes to forcibly administer the Kurdish people and their natural resources. •Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were killed, wounded, displaced, and dispossessed. Abitrary arrests Mass and Summary executions Mass disappearances Torture Forced labour Destruction of villages/infrastructure Environmental degradation Concentration Camps Looting of property and livestock “Arabisation” Forced resettlement Destruction of rural economy Deskilling Economic deprivation/blockade Use of Chemical Weapons and possibly other WMD
  7. 7. TABRIZ RASHT DOHUK DOHUK ERBIL ERBIL TEHRAN SULEYMANIYEH SULEYMANIYEH Halabja Halabja HAMADAN DAMASCUS QOM A BAGHDAD AMMAN ESFAHAN AVAZ BASRAH ABADAN KUWAIT CITY RIYADH
  8. 8. WHY USE GENOTOXIC WEAPONS? - OFTEN CHEAP & EASY TO PRODUCE - DIFFICULT TO COUNTERACT - PRODUCE MANY CASUALTIES - TERRORIZE OPPONENTS - LONG TERM EFFECTS - SILENT GENOCIDE Infertility Childhood death and handicap Disability, deaths, cancers Elimination of population years after attacks
  9. 9. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD) CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL RADIOLOGICAL MUSTARD AGENTS BIOLOGICAL AGENTS ENRICHED URANIUM SULPHER NITROGEN ANTRHAX, BRUCELLA ROTAVIRUS, PLAGUE, MEDICAL ISOTOPE TYPHOID, HEMORRAGHIC WASTE ? CONJUCTIVITIS VIRUS IRRADIATED REACTOR WASTE ? NERVE AGENTS IRRADIATED SARIN ZICONIUM CYCLOSARIN BIOLOGICAL TOXINS MUNITIONS SOMAN TABUN AFLATOXIN VX MYCOTOXIN BZ BOTULINUM TRICHOTHECENES
  10. 10. CIVILIANS PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO WMD •LACK DETECTION SYSTEMS •LACK PROTECTION (Gas Masks, detox materials, etc.) •LACK MEDICINES & MEDICAL EQUIPMENT •LACK DECONTAMINATION CAPABILITY •DEPEND ON CONTAMINATED FOOD/WATER •LACK INFORMED RESPONSES
  11. 11. PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE OF WMD EFFECTS World War I Mustard Gas Factory Workers Hiroshima/Nagasaki US DOD Testing of “Volunteers” Chernobyl Iran/Iraq War Japan Sarin Attacks Biological Outbreaks
  12. 12. GENOCIDAL EFFECTS OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION CHEMICAL WEAPONS Sterilize men and women Cause birth defects Cause stillbirths and infant deaths Male and female infertility Handicapped children Dead babies and grieving parents · Disrupt family structure · Heart defects · High emotional cost · No population growth · Spina bifida · Bereavement counselling · Divorce · Facial clefts · Ultimate cause of population disruption · Non-marriagability · Social stigma · Down’s syndrome · Childhood cancers Terrify the population by affecting successive generations
  13. 13. United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Resolution 260, United Nations General Assembly, 9 December 1948. ARTICLE 1 Genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. ARTICLE 2 Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. The following acts shall be punishable: ARTICLE 3 a) Genocide; b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; d) Attempt to commit genocide; e) Complicity in genocide. ARTICLE 4 Persons committing genocide shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
  14. 14. Mapping Known/Suspected WMD Attack Sites DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE • United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iraq (Max van der Stoel) reported to the UN Human Rights Commission in 1993 •Middle East Watch (Human Rights Watch) TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE •Testimony from eyewitnesses and victims •Middle East Watch researchers •Kurdish military personnel and leaders •Former Iraqi military officers •Staff of local and International NGOs FORENSIC EVIDENCE • Berjinni site samples (bombed August 1988) 1993 MoD Porton Down reported degradation products of Mustard gas and nerve agent (sarin) in samples
  15. 15. COMPOSITE MAP SHOWING EXTENT o o OF ANFAL CAMPAIGNS oo IN NORTHERN IRAQ o o FEBRUARY – SEPTEMBER, 1988 (Human Rights Watch) DOHUK Iraqi Kurdistan, 1988 o population: 4,000,000 o TURKEY o o oo DOHUK oo o oo MOSIL ERBIL ERBIL SULEYMANIYEH SYRIA KIRKUK HALABJA A o ooSULEYMANIYEH BAGHDAD IRAN JORDAN o A KIRKUK A o HALABJA SAUDI BASRA ARABIA KUWAIT o A
  16. 16. HEALTH DATA COLLECTION • Health survey of 49,000 people in Dohuk, Erbil, Halabja,Suleymania regions (>1%) • Health survey of 8,000 Kurdish and Iraqi refugees in 5 US cities • Health data from 4,200 women participating in WKI birth defect prevention program (folic acid) • Health data from 80,000 primary care recipients in vulnerable communities (IDPs, rural villagers, widows, orphans)
  17. 17. Committee to Survey the Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press, Washington DC 1993. Specific Findings: Evidence indicates causal relationship between exposure to mustard gas and following health conditions: Respiratory cancers Eye diseases Nasopharyngeal Recurrent corneal ulceration Laryngeal Delayed recurrent keratitis Lung Chronic conjunctivitis Leukemia Reproductive dysfunction Acute nonlymphocytic leukemia Genotoxic, mutagenic Bone marrow and immunosuppression Causes sterility, germ cell destruction Sexual dysfunction, scrotal/penile scars Chronic respiratory diseases Psychological disorders Chronic bronchitis & emphysema Mood disorders Asthma Anxiety disorders including PTSD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Other traumatic stress disorder Chronic laryngitis responses Skin cancer Chronic skin disease Chronic skin ulceration and scar formation Pigmentary abnormalities of skin
  18. 18. CANCER MEDICAL BIRTH DEFECTS CARDIO-RESPIRATORY INFERTILITY TREATMENT CONDITIONS TREATMENT TREATMENT TREATMENT Conventional Radiological Conventional Radiological 20 Lymphoma Chemical 15 Chemical Biological Biological Brain 10 Leukaemia 5 BIRTH DEFECTS BIRTH PREVENTION DEFECTS PREVENTION 0 14% population loss of under 16 year olds: World Food Programme 1987 - 1999
  19. 19. Folic Acid / Birth Defect Prevention Program Chokmakh Village: Suleymania 2003
  20. 20. COLLECTING ENVIRONMENTAL DATA Genotoxicity screening in soil, water, other materials Testing foodstuffs for bological toxins including aflatoxin Measuring radiation: gamma (full spectrum for all isotopes), as well as alpha and beta. Coordinating advanced testing to follow-up and confirm initial results and inform responses and remediation
  21. 21. Halabja/Anab Grid Map: Screening for Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Substances What can local authorities do when contamination is found? Is US-funded school being built on land known to be contaminated?
  22. 22. Limitations of GIS Model • Technology dependent -electricity, computers, software, costs sometimes impractical • Map deficiencies - unavailable in scale needed, inaccurate • Significant training required
  23. 23. GIS: A Tool for Healing and Prevention Mass grave memorial Halabja

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