The remains of 20 persons identified and returned to their families after 30 years

Joint statement of the Tripartite Commission

14 January 2021

Today, in the context of the 50th Tripartite Commission (TC) meeting, the cases of 20 missing persons and Prisoners of War (PoW) from the 1990-1991 Gulf War were formally closed, under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

 This development, the first of its kind since 2007 as concerns PoW and Missing persons files submitted by Kuwait to the TC, follows the conclusive identification of 13 human remains earlier this week and that of another seven (7) last November, based on DNA analyses conducted at the Kuwaiti Department of Forensic Evidence. The remains in question had been found at a burial site in Iraq’s Samawa district back in March 2019, thanks to the joint efforts of the Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities assisted by experts from the ICRC within the frame of the Technical Sub-Committee – while another set of remains found in the same area in January 2020 were also transferred to Kuwait last September with the support of United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) air assets.

 And what this means above all else is that, after 30 years of painful uncertainty, the relatives of these individuals now have clarity on the fate of their loved ones – and our thoughts remain as well with all the families who are still waiting for answers, hoping that they too may gain closure in the near future.

 The Tripartite Commission and its Technical Sub-Committee were set up in 1991 and 1994 respectively, to help ascertain the fate of people missing in connection with the 1990-1991 Gulf War. They are chaired by the ICRC and composed of representatives of the Republic of Iraq, the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of France. The UNAMI joined in 2014, as an observer.

 The members of the Tripartite Commission continue to work relentlessly to search for those still unaccounted for in relation to the conflict. 

For more information, please contact:

Sahar Tawfeeq, ICRC Baghdad: +964 790 191 6927, email:

Ala’a Nayel, ICRC Kuwait: +965 96673614, email: