By Joanna Hartley
19 years after invasion Iraq has paid 3.5% of war damages claimed by Kuwait.
Kuwait has received a total of $13.3bn in compensation from Iraq for the 1990 invasion and occupation by Saddam Hussein’s forces, according to reports on Tuesday.
The Gulf state’s Public Authority for Assessment of Compensation for Damages (PAAC) said in its annual report the figure represented the total received up to the end of last year.
However, the PAAC, an independent governmental body set up in May 1991 to process all Kuwait’s compensation claims, vowed that it would pursue tens of billions dollars more, according to the official news agency KUNA
The money has come through the United Nations Compensation Commission was created in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council, whose mandate is to process and pay compensation claims damage suffered as a direct result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
Under a post-war agreement Iraq is required to pay five percent of its oil revenues into a fund to pay for war damage during its seven-month occupation of it Gulf neighbour.
Kuwait has claimed $368bn in compensation but so far the fund has approved the payment of just over $52bn, according to Saudi daily Saudi Gazette.
Figures posted on the fund’s website said it had paid out almost $27bn to claimants by the end of January this year.
Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 the country has repeatedly appealed to foreign countries, especially Kuwait, to waive tens of billions of dollars in compensation.
During a conference of Iraq’s neighbors and world powers held in Kuwait last year, Baghdad officially asked that the reparations be cancelled or at least reduced.
You'd have thought that, given Iraq is currently facing serious problems and is in urgent need of cash to rebuild itself (face it, it needs money far more than Kuwait does), that Kuwait, in the spirit of Arab and Islamic unity, might have considered waving the damages. But no, let's just keep taking money from people who can't afford it and then blame America if anything goes wrong. Business as usual in the Gulf.