Presentation made to a symposium titled Documenting Mortality in Conflicts, organised by WHO/CRED with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and held in Brussels, 6-7 November 2008.
This slightly amended web version (published 2 February 2009) has been updated to reflect the latest statistics in the IBC database.
Deaths by Governorate, March 2003�Dec 2008)
1 One exemplary project which may serve as a model is The Bosnian Book of the Dead produced by The Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo.
Only a locally-verified, name by name record of every individual killed in this conflict will provide the sense of closure, and the public recognition of personal loss, which may lead Iraq towards lasting justice, truth and reconciliation. Such a full and final accounting in Iraq may still be some distance away, but there can be no doubt that Iraqis will do their utmost to arrive at it.1
The image of Iraq with which we began this presentation showed an outline map of Iraq and 12 of its 18 governorates with the number of violent civilian deaths in each, against a background listing some of the 230 towns and villages (not including the places in-between and outside them) in which IBC has recorded these killings. It is in those towns and villages, and with evidence such as ours — along with all the other information to hand — that this final accounting and truth-gathering will be completed in Iraq, by Iraqis: town by town, village by village, person by person.