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UN panel wraps up after Iraq pays $52.4 billion for Kuwait invasion

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A UN commission set up to obtain reparations from Iraq over the country’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait submitted its final report in Geneva on Wednesday after paying out $52.4 billion to the small Gulf state.

Set up in 1991 by UN Security Council Resolution 692 to manage financial compensation owed by Iraq to Kuwait, the commission raised the funds through a five percent tax on sales of oil and other petroleum products.

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Iraq’s Saddam Hussein ordered his army to invade Kuwait and seize what he described as “Iraq's 19th province” on August 2, 1990, before being pushed back seven months later by a US-led coalition.

The recipients of the war reparations included private individuals, companies, government organizations and other groups that suffered losses as a direct result of the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait.

Nearly 2.7 million compensation demands were submitted over the 30-year life of the commission, which paid out $52.4 billion of some $352 billion sought.

The last payment was made on January 13 totaling nearly $630 million, according to the report formally adopted in Geneva on Wednesday.

“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 over this period of time has no precedent in the history of international claims resolution,” the report said.

“This accomplishment is noteworthy and has contributed to post-conflict reconciliation, demonstrating the value and importance of international law,” it added.

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