Saturday, 16 May 2009

Victims of Saddam Hussein

Amongst all the recriminations about the War in Iraq, we sometimes forget how bad the Iraqi regime was under Saddam Hussein. This story from Kuwait, describes the grief and hatred that many in that country still feel towards Iraq, twenty years after the "First Iraq War".

"We started with 605 missing Kuwaitis or third country nationals. Now we have retrieved and identified the remains of 236 people, who were brought from mass graves in Iraq and buried in Kuwait." said Ibrahim al-Shahin, Vice President of the National Committee For POW Affairs in Kuwait.

"The remaining 370 or so are still open files with the International Committee of the Red Cross, listed as missing until it is proved they are dead."

Its feared of course that all those taken by the Iraqi's were killed with in days or even hours.

The Iraqi government is accused of dragging its feet over the search for the bodies.

"We feel the new government in Iraq should really look at this matter more sincerely. We hear a lot from them in meetings about how they are also the victims of Saddam. We understand that. But we tell them that we are dealing with the Republic of Iraq, which is responsible for locating these mass graves and helping us retrieve these bodies, regardless of which government is in power."

Despite the changes in regime in Iraq, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has felt the need to express public concern, that despite some progress, the remains of 369 Kuwaiti and third country nationals had not yet been identified. He also noted that the Kuwaiti national archives had also not yet been found, despite promises made to return them.

In October, Kuwait appointed an ambassador to Baghdad, and is waiting for Iraq to reciprocate.

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