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Volume :19 Issue : 74 1994      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

POLITICAL BOUNDARY DEMARCATION OF THE STATE OF KUWAIT-AN OUTPUT OF THE IRAQI INVASION OF KUWAIT

Auther : By: Dr. Jassim Karam

 

The political boundary question between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq is one of the oldest and most critical boundary conflicts in the Arabian Gulf area. Although Kuwait boundaries have been authenticated and delimited since three centuries ago and in spite of Iraq’s recognition of Kuwait boundaries through the exchanged letters between the governments of the two states in 1932 and in 1963, yet the Iraqi avidity for Kuwait wealth and Iraqi expansion at the expense of Kuwait precluded any ultimate boundary demarcation between the two countries. As a result of this avidity and vindictiveness, Iraq invaded Kuwait on the second of August 1990 and occupied it for seven months. During occupation, Iraq tried in vain to wipe out Kuwait identity and obliterate if from world maps. The Iraqi dreams fell to the ground due to world community decision, which deterred these futile covetousness.

After the defeat of the Iraqi army and dislodging it from Kuwait, Iraq signed cease-fire agreement. The UN Security Council issued its resolution No. 687 on 3.4.1991, which asserts that all nations, members in this international organization should abide by the independence of Kuwait and Iraq and their sovereignty. The UN reminded Iraq of its recognition of the independence of Kuwait according to the agreement signed between the two states on 4th October 1963. The UN General Secretary established the UN Demarcation Commission between Iraq and Kuwait in May 2nd 1991. The commission was composed of five members: one member represented Kuwait, the second represented Iraq and the other three were neutral. The commission, in its work, resorted to the reports and the messages and the agreements signed between Iraq and Kuwait from 1932 to 1963. The UN General Secretary report mentioned that the Commission decisions would be taken by majority and head the authority to take final and binding resolutions for all parts concerned.

In the mid of April, 1992 the UN Boundary demarcation Commission declared its decision which had been taken according to the British suggestion introduced to the Iraqi Government in December, 1951.

In the North, a point located 1430 meters South the old customs building in Safwan was recognized, although the British demarcation had pointed it only 100 meters South Safwan. This means that Iraq won a strip of 430 meters extending along the Kuwaiti boundaries. Concerning the maritime boundaries, the UN Demarcation commission decided that the boundary line extends from the last low water in Warbah Island leaving the whole of Khawt Az Zubayr to Iraq. This was against the Thalwege rule, which recognizes the median line as a basis for delimiting rivers and straits boundaries between two states. Kuwait chose not to reject the Commission decision while demarcating land or maritime boundaries so that this may not be used as a pretext for obstructing the demarcation process.

The allegation that Iraq had lost a part of its land and a part of its navigational outlet is beyond truth and groundless. Comparing the UN demarcation resolution with the messages exchanged between the two countries (Kuwait and Iraq) in 1932 – 1963 indicates conspicuously that Iraq had acquired some new lands on the account of Kuwait.

The fact to be noted is that the international boundaries between Kuwait and Iraq have been demarcated by the UN and are recognized by the whole world; a fact, which should be respected by all.

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