Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended a continuation of the United Nations mission which has been monitoring a demilitarized zone along the border between Iraq and Kuwait since the Iraqi troops withdrew from Kuwait in 1991.
In his report to the Security Council released today at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General observes that the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) has "continued to carry out its tasks smoothly, thereby contributing to the maintenance of calm and stability in the border area." The Mission is mandated to monitor the area, deter border violations and report on any hostile action.
While the situation over the past six months has been "generally quiet," there were 255 violations of the demilitarized zone, including 10 ground violations, 8 weapons violations, 74 maritime violations and 163 air violations, according to the report. "As in the past, most of the ground violations occurred along the border and involved Iraqi vehicles using the gravel road that crosses in and out of Kuwaiti territory," Mr. Annan writes.
The Secretary-General notes that UNIKOM has continued to receive cooperation from the Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities.