§ Lord Monson
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they can confirm reports that the population of the marsh areas of southern Iraq has fallen from 650,000 five years ago to approximately 75,000 today, as a result of military and other action taken by Saddam Hussein's regime.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey):
We are unable to confirm these figures. However, there is no doubt that the Iraqi regime's deliberate policy of draining the marshes and military 20WA operations have led to serious hardship and disrupted the life of the inhabitants.