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Tension over Kuwait-Iraq border

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry has called on Iraq's security services to "assume their responsibilities" to stop what it described as Iraqi violations of the border area between the two countries. The UN is currently supervising the installation of marker posts along the once-disputed border. Kuwait, says the Foreign Ministry statement, "feels deep resentment" about the efforts to disrupt this process.


The border markers are being installed as part of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 833, passed in 1993, two years after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait which led to the Gulf War. The resolution describes clearly the 217-kilometre border between Kuwait and Iraq. Partial application of the resolution during the time of Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad resulted in large swathes of Iraqi territory being annexed to Kuwait. Dozens of Iraqi-owned properties and farms in Safwan and Umm Qasr found themselves placed within Kuwait. In the mid-nineties an entire village, including a school, mosque and market, was destroyed to make way for an exercise area for the Kuwait Border Forces.

According to a Kuwaiti security source, there have been exchanges of fire across the border. Iraqi politicians support a proposal to vote on the proposed border before Resolution 833 is implemented fully. They believe that the new border is "unfair" and that it was imposed on their country after Iraq had been defeated militarily and was unable to defend its sovereignty properly.

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