IK/2367

                                                      25 August 1994







            PANEL TO EXAMINE CLAIM OF OVER $950 MILLION FOR KUWAITI



                    OIL-WELL FIRES FOLLOWING IRAQI INVASION





               Compensation Commission To Appoint Special Panel







     The secretariat of the Compensation Commission set up by Security Council

resolution 692 (1991) to review compensation claims resulting from Iraq's

invasion and occupation of Kuwait is preparing the preliminary assessment of

the first of the large claims filed with the Commission by Kuwait.  The claim

was presented by the Kuwait Oil Company and seeks reimbursement for the cost

of extinguishing the hundreds of oil wells set afire at the time of the

retreat of the Iraqi forces from Kuwait.  The principal amount being claimed

is in excess of $950 million.



     Because of its economic, environmental and health effects, the burning of

the oil wells -- which so altered Kuwait's desert landscape and life -- took

on a symbolic character for Kuwait.  Conscious of this special importance, the

Compensation Commission has decided to appoint, as soon as possible, a

separate panel of commissioners to examine the claim and make recommendations

to the Governing Council of the Commission.



     After studying in detail the specifics of the case, the secretariat will

draw up a list of experts who possess the expertise and experience, including

legal qualifications, to serve on the panel.  The candidates for the panel

will be proposed to the Secretary-General, who will make nominations to the

Governing Council that is to appoint the panel.  The panel is to start its

work as early as possible, in view of the particular importance and symbolism

that this claim has for the people and the Government of Kuwait.







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