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Security Council reiterates concern over issue of Kuwaitis missing since 1990 war

Security Council reiterates concern over issue of Kuwaitis missing since 1990 war

Welcoming the recent progress on identifying and recovering the remains of Kuwaitis and other nationals missing since the 1990 Gulf War, the Security Council today expressed concern over the fate of nearly 400 others whose whereabouts remain unknown.

In a statement to the press, Council President Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser of Qatar, which holds the rotating presidency this month, said the 15-member body offered its deepest condolences to the families of those missing persons whose remains have recently been found.

He reiterated the Council’s condemnation of the executions of Kuwaitis and third party nationals during the 1990 war, adding that members “agreed that those responsible for these horrendous crimes should be brought to justice.”

The statement was issued following a briefing to the Council by Yuli Vorontsov, the Secretary-General’s High Level Coordinator on the issue. Earlier this week Secretary-General Kofi Annan released his latest report to the Council, noting that although the remains of three Kuwaitis have been found recently, the fate of 370 others remains unknown.

“This reflects disappointingly slow progress,” Mr. Annan said in the report, adding that “serious security challenges in Iraq have impeded searches for graves and exhumation of known sites where Kuwaiti and other nationals are thought to be buried.”

The press statement lamented the lack of progress on locating the missing Kuwaiti national archive, but welcomed the work of the Tripartite Commission and the International Committee of the Red Cross in attempting to determine the fate of the missing people.

It also noted the positive resolution of all issues relating to the transfer of Kuwaiti spare parts onboard Iraqi Airways planes in Tunisia.

“Council members look forward to the final closure of all the matters related to Kuwaiti spare parts,” Mr. al-Nasser said.