The adversity of the 2 August 1990 began when huge armed units of the former Iraqi regime crossed the Kuwaiti borders. Scattered battles took place between the Iraqi forces and the Kuwaiti army, ending in the occupation of the State of Kuwait for seven months, in an unprecedented incident along the current century.
Since the first moments of the invasion, the international community, represented in the International Security Council, solidly condemned the Iraqi invasion of the State of Kuwait in an emergency meeting convened based on the request of both the State of Kuwait and the United States of America. In the presence of its Secretary General Mr. Javier Solana- issued its resolution No. 660 requesting Iraq to withdraw all its forces immediately and unconditionally to its locations before the second of August, and the commencement of negotiations between the two countries for settling their differences. However, the Iraqi regime refused to bow to the will of the international community, insisting on its stance and pretending that this military action is an internal Iraqi affair.
The adversity of the Iraqi invasion highlighted how far the Kuwaiti people were united, solid, and resistant to the occupation, in addition to their support to their legal government and leadership. Kuwait sovereignty, independence and the safety of its land were never compromised. Such solidarity was admired by the whole world.
Kuwaitis proudly remember the great role played by their late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah to restore Kuwait’s sovereignty, and free it from the tyrant invasion. During the first weeks of the invasion, H.H. the late Amir issued a number of Amiri orders and decrees for managing the internal affairs of the country. The most important ones were the temporary meeting of the government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ministers’ continuity to perform their duties, and arranging the financial and living of Kuwaiti families abroad. In October 1990, His Highness issued a decree of non-abidance with the value of banknotes stolen from the Central Bank of Kuwait, and another decree of subjecting monies of the Kuwaitis and resident expatriates to protection.
On the international level, H.H. exerted several efforts including mobilization of international support, attending conferences and participating in international activities in one hand, and sending Kuwaiti delegations to different countries to explain the situation and obtain support for the just case of Kuwait on the other. The efforts of H.H. the late Amir commenced with participation in the Emergency Arab Summit Conference, which was held in Cairo – Arab Republic of Egypt – on the 10th of August 1990, where the Arab leaders shouldered their historical responsibility toward Kuwait for ending the occupation and restoring legitimacy. H.H. also directed a message to the International Islamic Conference, which was held on the tenth of September 1990 in the Holy Mecca, where he stressed the principles of Islam, and pillars of faith, most important of which is supporting the right, lifting injustice and deterring the oppressive group.
On the 27th of September 1990 , H.H. the late Amir delivered a historical speech before over sixty state presidents, ninety government leaders, ministers, and ambassador during the forty fifth session of the U N General Assembly. All attendees stood up, and applauded in tribute, respect and support of His Highness and the just case of Kuwait.
On the 22nd of December of the same year, His Highness also participated in the eleventh summit of the GCC countries, which was held in Doha under the slogan of “Liberation and Change”. The summit confirmed GCC countries’ support of Kuwait, their abidance with the execution of all the resolutions of Security Council concerning the Iraqi invasion of the State of Kuwait, and announcing that the relations of GCC countries with different counties worldwide shall be affected – adversely and positively – pursuant to the stance of such countries regarding the execution of Security Council resolutions.
His Highness the late Amir also performed a number of official visits as part of his wide tours that covered some of the Security Council’s permanent members like the United States, France, Britain, and China, to mobilize support of Kuwait’s just case.
On the 17th of January 1991, the United States of America and its allies executed their obligations pursuant to the Security Council Resolution No. 678, by forcing the Iraqi regime to withdraw from the Kuwaiti lands. The Desert Strom war – as it was called by the international allied forces – resulted in achieving its goal of liberating the State of Kuwait on the 26th of February 1991, and the return of the legitimate government.
After the liberation of the State of Kuwait, H.H. the late Amir delivered a speech on the occasion of the last ten days of the Holy month of Ramadan 1411 A.H. in which he said “Praise be to Allah who gathered us again on our land, reunified us, and granted us victory over the oppressors. May Allah grant mercy to our martyrs, freedom to our prisoners of war, and health and wellbeing to our injured ones”. In that speech, H.H. the late Amir assured that the adversity of Kuwait revealed the nobility of all the leaders and peoples of the GCC countries, who proved that brotherhood is not just mere words, but a profound belief that is materialized in hard times.
H.H. also commended the great role played by the Arab and Islamic countries in the liberation of the State of Kuwait, as well as the loyal friends in the allied forces, who mobilized all their powers and capabilities for defending right, law, and lofty ideals.
Kuwaitis played a considerable role in resistance and liberation. The Kuwaiti people confrontation of the enemy formed a unique phase in the history of this country and their struggle in defending their homeland, during which several males and females paid their lives for their country. The twenty six of February 1991 was indeed a unique day; it materialized the story of a people whose land was occupied, but it resisted, won and liberated. On the same day, Kuwaitis annually renew their gratitude to all those who supported the Kuwaiti case.
After liberation, the Iraqi regime agreed to the resolutions of the Security council related to the Invasion of Kuwait, and the obligations resulting thereof. These resolutions permanently settled all the issues related to the invasion and its reasons.
After the return of the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Kuwait on 14 march 1991, he performed a lot of official and friendly visits, during which he participated in a lot of regional and international conferences. The objective of these visits was to thank the United Nations and its member states, in addition to the countries that shared with military forces in the process of liberating the State of Kuwait as part of the international alliance, for their honorable stand toward the just case of Kuwait.
After the leadership of Kuwait returned to its homeland after liberation, it set and executed an integrated plan for reconstruction of the State of Kuwait, which was mostly destroyed, with almost all basic organizations out of function, and infrastructure almost parallelized. The reconstruction plan was successfully executed with a total cost of about US$ 70 billion, and its completion was celebrated, along with putting out the last oil well set to fire by the Iraqis before they were defeated, on the 6th of November 1991. As part of expressing its proud of the achievement celebrated in this date, the State of Kuwait submitted a proposal to the United Nation General Assembly for declaring the sixth of November as an international day for preventing the usage of environment in military conflicts. The proposal, which was approved in 2001, assures that the environmental damage incurred at the time of armed disputes leads to a long term destruction of the ecosystems and natural resources after the dispute is over, and usually exceeds the limit of national borders, and current generation. The proposal further requires maintaining the environment for future generations. The fourth paragraph of the proposal states “All member states shall refrain, in their international relations, from threatening to use, or using force against the integrity and safety of any other country”.