Iraq Is Done Paying Reparations to Kuwait

It paid out $52B over 3 decades
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2022 8:49 AM CST
Iraq Is Done Paying Reparations to Kuwait
USAF aircraft of the 4th Fighter Wing (F-16, F-15C and F-15E) fly over Kuwaiti oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqi army during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.   (US Air Force/Wikimedia Commons)

Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, and its forces were ousted by 1991. In the more than 30 years since, it has been paying reparations to Kuwait, a process that has finally officially finished. The UN commission set up to review the compensation demands and obtain and pay out the money on Wednesday submitted its final report, saying $52.4 billion had been paid to the individuals, companies, and governments who proved damages caused in the course of the invasion and occupation of Kuwait. If it sounds like it took a long time to get to the finish line, the report said there was good reason why, per the AFP.

"While this period of time may seem excessive, it is important to note that the resolution of almost 2.7 million claims with an asserted value of $352 billion ... has no precedent in the history of international claims resolution," the report said. Yes, 2.7 million claims were submitted, and Reuters 1.5 million of them were approved. The heftiest payout was to the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, whose oil wells were set on fire by Iraqi forces; it got $14.7 billion. The funds were generated by a variable tax on the sale of Iraqi oil. "This accomplishment is noteworthy and has contributed to post-conflict reconciliation, demonstrating the value and importance of international law," the report added. (More Iraq stories.)

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