UN panel pays out $892 million in damages from Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

UN panel pays out $892 million in damages from Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

A United Nations panel today paid out $892 million worth of claims arising from damage caused by Iraq's invasion and subsequent occupation of Kuwait in 1990.

The latest awards approved by the Geneva-based UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) will be disbursed to 17 governments for distribution to 357 successful claimants from the category of corporations, other private legal entities and public sector enterprises. Payment will also go to settle claims by Governments and international organizations.

Today's payment brings to nearly $13.7 billion the overall amount of compensation made available by the UNCC. Money to pay the awards are drawn from the UN Compensation Fund, which receives up to 30 per cent of the revenue generated by the export of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products under the UN-supervised "oil-for-food" humanitarian programme.

Meanwhile in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced that he has appointed a senior military officer from Argentina to head the UN peacekeeping forces in the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM).

Currently the Commander of the XII Jungle Brigade, Major General Miguel Angel Moreno previously served in 1993 as the commander of the Argentine Battalion in Croatia as part of the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR). Two years later, he was an observer in the deployment of the multinational force headed by the United States in Haiti. He also served the UN as a Military Observer in the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG) in 1988.