Kuwait History

Kuwait History


As a country located in Middle East according to ACEINLAND.COM, Kuwait became part of the Turkish Empire in the 16th century. The year 1672 is the approximate date of the founding of the city of Kuwait, when Barrak bin Ghurair was emir of Bani Khalid. During the last years under Ottoman rule, Kuwait was transformed into a semi-autonomous Arab monarchy controlled by the Sabah family. In 1899 the ruler of Kuwait signed a treaty with Great Britain to stop the Ottoman Empire from expanding into its territory. The treaty placed Kuwait under the protection of Great Britain, and its leaders accepted that that power assumed its foreign relations. In 1918, once the World War I, the Turkish Empire was dissolved, thus ending its nominal sovereignty over Kuwait. Until 1961, Kuwait maintained its status of autonomy and British protectorate. During the regime of Sheikh Ahmad (1921 – 1950), the country began to develop its oil industry, the basis of its current prosperity. The oil was discovered in 1938, but surveys were interrupted during World War II. After the war, the drilling of new wells continued on a vast scale.

Growing financial income enabled Kuwait to begin its transformation; The small Gulf emirate was thus transformed from a small freight port into a modern and thriving commercial center. Kuwaiti rulers made massive investments in urban and productive infrastructure and organized one of the most advanced welfare systems in the world. Kuwait became fully independent on 19 of June of 1961, when Britain and the authorities of the emirate concluded by mutual agreement the treaty of 1899. Despite opposition from Iraq, which claimed its historic sovereignty over Kuwaiti territory, the emirate was admitted to the Arab League in July 1961. The first elections were held in Kuwait in December of that same year. The new legislative Assembly that resulted from the elections drew up a Constitution, approved in December 1962. Throughout the 1960s, the country’s wealth grew at the rate of new oil wells that were incorporated into production.

In the same period, the number of foreign workers increased from 52% in 1975 to 60% in 1985. In June of 1989, foreigners accounted for 73% of the population, according to official statistics.

The unofficial stock market crash in 1982 precipitated the country into its greatest political and financial crisis since independence, sparking for the first time something resembling a confrontation between the National Assembly and the government. The situation ended in an authoritarian manner, as the sheikh dissolved the Assembly, suspended some articles of the Constitution and began to govern by decree. Throughout 1989, the equivalent of the Kuwaiti opposition called on the ruling family to restore the National Assembly, at the same time that a committee of 45 prominent citizens was formed to campaign for democratic changes in the state. At the end of November of that year, the emir rejected the proposals. On January of 1990, two demonstrations in which called for greater democratization, were broken up by police. The regime called legislative elections in June 1990, but these were boycotted by the opposition, whose representatives called for the full restoration of constitutional prerogatives.

Iraqi invasion

Simultaneously with this long internal crisis, Kuwait was facing a delicate situation internationally, raised by the increasingly raucous accusations with which its Iraqi neighbor, Saddam Hussein, implicitly accused them of pursuing a pro-American policy in the region whose The purpose was to obtain the fall in oil prices. In July, Baghdad He publicly accused Kuwait of “stealing” oil from Iraq by extracting it from the Rumaíla field, and asked for $ 2.4 billion in compensation for what he described as “military aggression against Iraq.” The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber al Ahmed al Saba, sent his emissaries to the Arab countries to smooth the matter over. After rejecting the Iraqi accusations, Kuwait requested the intervention of the Arab League to resolve the differences, while the official Baghdad press launched an appeal to the Kuwaiti population, inviting them to rebel against the emir. On July 24, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak traveled to Baghdad, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to mediate the problem, when the tension had already increased in intensity and the deployment of Iraqi troops to the south of the country, near the border with Kuwait, had begun.

At the meeting conducted by the OPEC the 26 as July as 1991, almost all participants believed it was still possible to avoid the worst. The price of a barrel of crude, in the event of a war, could skyrocket from the $ 11 cost on July 14 to more than $ 20, analysts predicted. Only Libya publicly announced its support for Iraq, since it wanted the price of crude to rise to $ 25 a barrel. On August 1, the talks between Iraq and Kuwait concluded without the parties reaching any kind of agreement. The closure of the borders between the two countries was announced. In the early morning of August 1 to 2, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. According to Iraq [1] , they did so “at the request of a new free and provisional government.” Several sources indicate that this action had the approval of the United States, which was consulted by Iraq.

The United Nations Security Council immediately condemned the invasion, rejection to which in the following hours and days were added those of almost all European countries, the United States and the main Arab states. In late November, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution (678) authorizing the Saudi-based multinational force to use “all necessary means” to liberate Kuwait. On January 17 In 1991, after the failure of several diplomatic missions for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, the multinational military force, commanded by the United States, launched its campaign to liberate Kuwait through massive aerial bombardments and, after this phase, a ground campaign of three days that ended, on February 28, with the liberation of Kuwait. In November 1991, the last oil wells burned by the Iraqis were extinguished. The defense organization for human rights Amnesty International has continued to denounce Kuwait for torture and abuse of the person of prisoners, mostly Palestinians, accused of complicity with Iraqis during the invasion.

All this served the US to remain militarily in the area and create the bases for the invasion of Iraq.

Recent events

Kuwait, like the rest of the Arab world, was shocked by the wave of anti-government protests at the beginning of 2011, which caused the fall of the governments of Tunisia and Egypt and a bloody civil war in Libya. On March 11, the security forces dispersed with tear gas hundreds of non-nationalized Arabs who demonstrated in Jahra in the west of the country, to demand their naturalization and gain access to education and health services, free of charge for the natives of the country [ 2] .

Kuwait History