Statement of Tripartite Commission Thirty cases of missing persons from 1990-1991 Gulf War officially closed


Joint Statement of the Tripartite Commission

At the 52nd meeting of the Tripartite Commission for the search of missing persons from the 1990-1991 Gulf War, which was held yesterday under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), it was announced that the cases of thirty missing persons and Prisoners of War from the 1990-1991 Gulf War were formally closed.

The thirty cases (29 cases opened by the State of Kuwait and 1 case opened by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) were closed, based on DNA analyses conducted at the Kuwaiti Department of Forensic Evidence. The results of the identification of such cases were announced in July 2021 (10 cases), September 2021 (1 case), and November 2021 (19 cases).

The remains of the 30 persons in question were found at a burial site in the Desert of Mutahana Governorate (Samawa) in March 2019 and January 2020, due to the joint efforts of the Iraqi (Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Health) and Kuwaiti authorities, assisted by ICRC experts within the framework of the Technical Sub-Committee.

“The pain and the impact of a missing relative or loved one is less visible than physical injury, but no less devastating for families. The unanswered absence of a relative or loved one deeply affects entire families and even a whole community and society,” stated Adib Nahas, ICRC’s Deputy Regional Director for North Africa and the Middle East.

“Solving these cases takes time, patience, and cooperation between governments, humanitarian organizations, and the missing families. It can take years of work to uncover answers. As chair of the Tripartite Commission, the ICRC is very pleased about the continued positive outcomes, driven by the cooperation between Kuwait and Iraq authorities in the framework of the Tripartite Commission,” he explained.

Since its establishment in 1991 and 1994, the Tripartite Commission and its Technical Sub-Committee, respectively, managed to bring answers to hundreds of missing persons’ families from the 1990-1991 Gulf War. The Commission’s work requires patience and persistence. The long-term commitment will allow relief for at least some families. The burial of a loved one is essential in bringing closure and a sense of resolution.

The Tripartite Commission and its Technical Sub-Committee is chaired by the ICRC and composed of representatives of the Republic of Iraq, the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of France. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) joined in 2014, as an Observer.

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