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13 July 2024

Kuwait receives $13bn compensation from Iraq

Kuwait said on Monday it has received a total of $13.3 billion in compensation from Iraq for the 1990 invasion and occupation of the oil-rich emirate by Saddam Hussein's forces.

The Public Authority for Compensation said in a statement carried by the official KUNA news agency that the figure represented the total received up to the end of last year and that Kuwait was pursuing tens of billions more.

Iraq is required to pay five per cent of its oil revenues into a fund created by the UN Security Council to pay reparations for war damage during the seven-month occupation of its neighbour.

The fund has received claims worth $368 billion, but has so far approved the payment of just over $52 billion, including around $39 billion for Kuwait, based on figures from the fund and Kuwait.

The fund has paid out almost $27 billion to claimants, according to figures up to the end of January posted on the fund's website.

Following the overthrow of Saddam in a US-led invasion in 2003, Iraq has repeatedly appealed to foreign countries, especially Kuwait, to waive tens of billions of dollars in compensation.

During a conference of Iraq's neighbours and world powers held in Kuwait last year, Baghdad officially asked that the reparations be cancelled or at least reduced. 

Kuwait's compensation authority says on its website that since 1996, it has submitted claims of close to 190 billion dollars, mostly from the government.

The figure includes $40 billion for environmental damage, $29 billion for destruction of oil facilities and $11 billion for damage to sea and desert resources.