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Iraq pays last chunk of $52.4bn Gulf War reparations, says UN

Damaged Iraqi battle tanks can be seen near the Kuwaiti border during the First Gulf War [SSgt. Reeve, US Army/Wikipedia]
Damaged Iraqi battle tanks can be seen near the Kuwaiti border during the First Gulf War [SSgt. Reeve, US Army/Wikipedia]

Iraq has completed payment of $52.4 billion to compensate individuals, companies and governments who proved damages due to its 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, the United Nations reparations body said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

The UN Compensation Commission, set up by the UN Security Council after the seven-month occupation of the Emirate and US-led defeat of Saddam Hussein's troops in the Gulf War, received a portion of proceeds from Iraqi oil sales. The rate varied over the 30 years and was most recently 3 per cent.

In all, about 2.7 million claims, with an asserted value of $352.5 billion were lodged, but the UNCC approved payment of $52.4 billion covering 1.5 million successful claims.

The largest claim approved by the UNCC was for $14.7 billion in damages incurred by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) after departing Iraqi troops set fire to oil wells.

READ: Iraq pays final instalment of $52bn war reparations to Kuwait

Payments were suspended between October 2014 and April 2018 because of the Iraqi government's security and budgetary problems in its fight against Islamic State insurgents.

"With the final payment of compensation made on 13 January 2022, all compensation awarded by the Commission has now been paid in full," the Geneva-based body said in a statement following a closed-door meeting of its Governing Council.

"The Government of Iraq has fulfilled its international obligations to compensate all claimants awarded compensation by the Commission for losses and damages suffered as a direct result of Iraq's unlawful invasion of Kuwait," it said.

Bathsheba Crocker, US ambassador to the UN in Geneva, tweeted on Tuesday after talks with Qahtan Al-Janabi, Iraqi Under-Secretary for Multilateral and Legal Affairs, and other diplomats ahead of Wednesday's meeting: "We commend Iraq for completing payments for all UNCC claims, a historic achievement."

Categories
International OrganisationsIraqKuwaitMiddle EastNewsUN
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