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Kuwait

Yearbook 1997

Kuwait. Although political parties are banned in Kuwait and despite the fact that Parliament has no real power, opposition groups and individual parliamentarians attracted attention during the year. In May, a new movement, the National Democratic Movement, was founded with the aim of women's suffrage.

According to Countryaah, MP Abd Allah an-Nibari faced a murder trial in June. He was seriously injured and it was uncertain if he would be fully restored. The police arrested five people who were charged with the attempted murder.

An-Nibari belongs to a group of Liberal MPs who have often criticized the corruption within the government. He is also chairman of the parliamentary committee working against corruption. During the trial, it appeared that several of the suspects had links with a food supplier that An-Nibari had accused of fraudulent business with the country's military.

1997 Kuwait

In 1987, the Iranian Navy attacked Kuwaiti merchant vessels on the pretext that Iraq used the port of Kuwait for oil exports and arms imports. In return, Kuwait received permission from the major powers - the United States, France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union - to hoist the flags of these countries on its merchant ships. At the same time, the United States and the United Kingdom sent their navy to protect the Gulf of Kuwait.

The war between Iran and Iraq had barely ended in 1988 before tensions between Iraq and Kuwait arose. The latter demanded $ 15 billion in war loans to Iraq repaid, which in return responded that it had defended Kuwait for a similar amount.

Iraq, on the other hand, accused Kuwait of "stealing" oil by pumping up oil from the two countries' common oil fields that extend across the two countries. According to Iraq, the emirate had pumped up far more than agreed and demanded $ 2.4 billion in damages.

Tensions were unleashed when Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait in a swift military action on August 2, 1990. Sheik al-Sabah fled to Saudi Arabia with his family. 300,000 Kuwaiti refugees fled the country and joined other 100,000 who were vacationing abroad. The occupation forces encouraged this mass escape, perhaps to "de-Kuwait" the country. A provisional pro-Iraqi government led by Al Hussein Ali requested the merger of Iraq and Kuwait, and a few days later, the country was declared Iraqi province.

Iraq had hoped for US understanding in return for the promise of oil supplies, but the superpower reacted with fierce rigor and forced a number of very harsh condemnations of the invasion in the UN Security Council. On August 6, a trade, financial and military boycott of Iraq was adopted, and on November 29, the Security Council (only Cuba and Yemen abstained) approves military force against Iraq if the country does not withdraw out of Kuwait before January 15, 1991.

Of course, it was a tactical political problem that Kuwait was, in fact, a dictatorship at the invasion, and the country's emir was therefore forced by the United States to accept that democratic elections should be held once the country was liberated.

The war had enormous consequences for the country. Not so much in life, for most of the fighting took place on Iraqi territory, but because almost all of the country's oil wells were set on fire. Either because of Allied bombings, or because the Iraqi forces set them on fire as they withdrew from the country. The consequence was that Kuwait could not resume its oil production until 1992.

At the same time, Kuwait became a huge environmental disaster. The smoke from the 500 burning oil wells and the huge spills of oil on the coast destroyed the air, the marine environment and the earth. The ecosystem of the Persian Gulf was severely damaged by oil pollution, causing a drastic decline in catches of fish, which was otherwise an important food source for the population.

The cost of rebuilding the land was estimated at $ 150-200 billion. On January 9, 1991, Britain agreed to give the country a $ 950 million loan for the reconstruction, and Kuwait's war debt to the Allied countries rose to $ 22 billion.

At the end of the war, it was found that 1300 Kuwaiti people had been killed or wounded by mine explosions. Foreign observers estimated that the cost of destroying the remaining artillery would run into over $ 1 billion.

 

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