By Courtney Trenwith
Monday, 18 March 2013 11:22 AM
Kuwait has compensated several Iraqi farmers in a bid to ease tensions over the demarcation of the countries’ border.
Kuwait has compensated several Iraqi farmers in a bid to ease tensions over the demarcation of the countries’ border, which involved demolishing three houses, Kuwait Times has reported.
The oil-rich nation had agreed to build 200 houses for the affected Iraqi farmers, 3 kilometres from the border, the newspaper said.
Tensions between the neighbouring countries recently escalated as Kuwait attempted to enforce a UN-backed border demarcation that Iraq agreed to in 1994 following the first Gulf War when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait before being pushed out by a US-led coalition.
Many Iraqis oppose the border ruling, claiming it has robbed them of property and territory.
Last week they protested by throwing stones. Iraqi police said the protesting crowd hurled stones at security forces in the border town of Um Qasr, prompting the security forces to fire in the air to disperse them, Reuters reported.
Kuwaiti border guards who heard the gunshots believed they were being targeted and opened fire at Iraqi security forces in response. There were no reports of casualties on either side.
However, Kuwait’s foreign relations committee secretary, Taher Al-Failakawi, said 205 kilometres of border markers from Salmi to Umm Qasr had been repaired without incident and with cooperation from Iraqis, Kuwait Times said.