The First Gulf War Crisis

By FRANCESCA TIRAVANTI, The Straits Times

On August 2, 1990; Iraqi soldiers crossed the desert between Iraq and Kuwait and invaded the city, starting what is called now the first Gulf War. This war produced an immense refugee crisis, 3 million people had to flee their homes and enroll in a long journey to countries like Turkey or Iran. Iraqi Kurdish people were the biggest group of refugees with 1.4 million people fleeing, followed by 300,000 Palestinians.

The first invasion of Kuwait created the first group of refugees from this conflict. In this group, there was included those who were outside the country when this occurred, those who escaped across the desert, Asian guests who had moved to camps in Iraq before being scattered through Jordan and certain Egyptians workers.

As the war kept going, in March of 1991 the United States decided to intervene. The Bush administration gave the Iraqi government consent to use armament against the Kurds in order to frighten the population. This made 450,000 fled to the mountains and then to Turkey and Iran, but Turkey refused to allow entrance into its country since there were already a significant amount of refugees in.

However, the United Nations decided to intervene and in response to this extreme humanitarian crisis agreed to establish a safe place in Iraq. After this declaration, the Unites States and its allies established the “northern no-fly zone”. The United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, and Turkey implemented safe areas between cities and they expelled the Iraqi military from there.

By 2003 the war had not stopped and the number of refugees increased. Although 30,000 returned to their homes after Saddam Hussein fell, by 2006 they were leaving again because of accumulated violence. The first crisis was a huge shock to the world; nowadays many people are scattered among the countries, unavailable to return not their home because of the ongoing violence in their nations. The United Nations and many of its member states are still trying to stop the current refugee crisis, but it seems like without real compromise it may never come to an end.

Now, in 2017, delegates from all around the world have gathered in Boston at the Harvard National Model United Nations conference with one main goal: make right what once was done wrong. Even Though this was not the topic chosen by the committee in the first place, there has been some mentioned regarding it. The first gulf war crisis had a huge impact then, and has a huge impact now because we are suffering a tremendous refugee crisis. It is the goal of the committee to come up with innovative solutions regarding what will be done, and how it will be done.

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