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Iraq/Kuwait: meeting on people missing since 1990-1991 Gulf War

07-12-2010 News Release 10/224

Baghdad/Kuwait City (ICRC) – In a new effort to account for people missing in connection with the 1990-1991 Gulf War, the Tripartite Commission, composed of representatives of Iraq, Kuwait and the 1990-1991 Coalition (the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Saudi Arabia) held a meeting in Kuwait on 7 December under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"In its capacity as a neutral and impartial intermediary, the ICRC will continue to support the authorities in their efforts to find out what happened to over a thousand people still missing in connection with the 1990-1991 war," said Béatrice Mégevand-Roggo, ICRC head of operations for the Near and Middle East and chairwoman of the Tripartite Commission.

The Tripartite Commission and its Technical Sub-Committee were set up in 1991 and 1994, respectively. So far, both bodies have together held 100 meetings at which the parties have pooled their efforts to find out what happened to people reported missing. Earlier this year, in a joint field mission undertaken in Kuwait, the mortal remains of 55 Iraqi soldiers were exhumed and handed over to the Iraqi government, which is now seeking to identify them.

Various mechanisms set up under ICRC auspices have helped the countries to exchange information on more than 300 individuals. The ICRC's status as a trustworthy neutral intermediary is fully recognized, especially when repatriation operations take place. The ICRC helps to train forensic professionals in the identification and management of dead bodies. It carries out all these activities with the sole aim of alleviating the suffering of the families and bringing answers to them.

For further information, please contact:
Iolanda Jaquemet, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 35 18 / +41 79 217 32 04
Layal Horanieh, ICRC Iraq, tel: +962 777 399 614
Fouad Bawaba, ICRC Kuwait, tel: +965 77 87 94 34