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Fate of missing Kuwaitis in Iraq

Security Council ‘confident’ of cooperation on fate of missing Kuwaitis in Iraq

Welcoming the Iraqi Government’s constructive engagement in the ongoing inquiry into the fate of Kuwaitis who went missing in Iraq after the 1990 invasion of their country, the United Nations Security Council today expressed confidence that the parties involved would work to ensure that all outstanding issues were satisfactorily addressed.

The Council had earlier been briefed on Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s latest report dealing with Kuwaiti prisoners of war and third-party nationals in which he said that out of a total of 605 cases, the number of remains identified has reached 227.

“Council members expressed the deepest condolences to the all families of those missing persons that had now been identified. [They] also expressed their continuing concern for the plight of the families of those persons whose whereabouts are still unknown,” Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month of August, told reporters.

The members of the Council shared the views expressed in that report, where Mr. Annan expressed the hope that with the expanding activities of Kuwaiti investigative teams and increased cooperation by the new Iraqi authorities, more human remains will eventually be brought to Kuwait and more missing persons files can be closed.

The Council also reiterated Mr. Annan’s strong condemnation of the execution of Kuwaiti and third country nationals by the previous Iraqi regime. "This killing and the decade-long cover-up of the truth constitute a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law," Mr. Annan said, stressing that those responsible for those crimes, in particular those who ordered the executions, must be brought to justice.

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