Kuwait urges Iraq action on markers after border riot

AFP – Kuwait on Monday urged Iraq to allow work to continue to repair markers on their common border after a number of Iraqis rioted near the site and disrupted the UN-supervised repairs.

A foreign ministry official cited by the state-run KUNA news agency said a number of Iraqi citizens on Monday erected a big tent on the border near marker 105 and removed a metal pipe between markers 105 and 106.

Local media reported an exchange of fire between unidentified people on the Iraqi side of the border near the port city of Umm Qasr and Kuwaiti security forces, with no mention of casualties.

The area near Umm Qasr had remained at the centre of a dispute between Kuwaitis and Iraqis because based on the 1993 UN security council demarcation, the new border line passes through dozens of Iraqi farms.

But the dispute was resolved, with the two Arab neighbours agreeing to start repairing the markers under UN supervision. The process began several weeks ago.

The Kuwaiti official expressed “resentment” over the practices of the Iraqi citizens that he said were aimed at disrupting the process of repairing the border markers.

The official urged Iraqi security forces to stop such practices and called on the Iraqi government to “shoulder its responsibilities and implement its commitments” to enable the UN team to continue the repair work.

Ties between Iraq and Kuwait have recently improved more than two decades after late dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to invade the oil-rich emirate in August 1990. The Iraqi troops were driven out seven months later.