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Fri Nov 26, 2021, 12:47 PM

Why Iraqi Kurds risk their lives to reach the West

Many of the 27 men, women and children who lost their lives in the English Channel on Wednesday as they tried to cross from France to the UK in an inflatable dinghy are believed to have been Kurds from Iraq.

Iraqi Kurds have also died in recent weeks on the border between Belarus and Poland, while hundreds more trying to get into the European Union are stranded there in freezing temperatures.

The tragedies have left many wondering why so many people from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which has oil resources and a reputation for being relatively secure, stable and prosperous, would want to undertake such perilous journeys.

Many of the Iraqi Kurds stuck at camps dotted along the northern French coast and Belarus-Poland border say they are trying to escape economic hardship in the region and build better lives.

The Kurds were given their own state of Kurdistan in 1920 in the Treaty of Sevres, only to be screwed out of it three years later by the Treaty of Lausanne. You could look that up.

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