Stateless Arab Protestors Dismantle Camp on Kuwait-Iraq Border
Hundreds of stateless Arabs, demanding to be allowed to enter Kuwait, have dismantled their camp, and it appeared that they are clearing up to leave the border site, a UN spokesman said.
"They have dismantled all the tents this morning. There are only 20 people in the area and they look to be cleaning the place to leave," Abdullahi Zubir Rijal, spokesman of the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observers Mission UNIKOM told AFP.
"They have not violated Kuwaiti territory (by crossing the border) and this is good for everyone," said Rijal.
The group known as bidoon, meaning without papers in Arabic, began Tuesday a sit-in on the Iraq-Kuwait borders and said they would stay until they were granted the right to return to the oil-rich emirate.
Scores of elite Kuwaiti troops moved up to the border with Iraq on Tuesday amid a red alert to stop any bid by the bidoon to cross the frontier.
The protestors erected 38 tents about 60 meters (200 feet) from the borderline.
Kuwait asked the UN Security Council in a letter released on Friday to avert "the grave dangers" posed by the demonstrators on the Iraqi side of its northern border.
In a letter to the Security Council, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Abulhasan, accused the Iraqi government of organizing the protests to whip up a crisis.
He said the protestors, "clearly acting at the instigation of the Iraqi government, display signs hostile to Kuwait including such inscriptions as: 'Today an olive branch, tomorrow guns' and 'Flee Kuwait before it is too late'."
He said the Iraqi police and intelligence services "organize and provide transportation for these Iraqis to the border region, install tents for them and provide them with various items to do what is expected of them." - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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