27 February 1998




Letter dated 27 February 1998 from the Secretary-General
addressed to the President of the Security Council

Attached please find the report of the United Nations Technical Mission which I dispatched to Iraq to survey the "presidential sites" (annex I), along with a copy of my letter of 21 February 1998 addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq (annex II).

I would appreciate it if the report and the letter could be brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council as an addendum to the document containing the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 23 February 1998 in Baghdad by the United Nations and the Republic of Iraq (S/1998/166).

As the materials referred to in the conclusions of the report of the Technical Mission are voluminous, the Secretariat is, therefore, making them available for consultation by delegations in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. They will be available in the Map Room on the 38th floor between 2 and 5.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. (Any enquiries in this regard may be addressed to Mr. Vladimir Grachev, ext. 3-3793.)

(Signed) Kofi A. ANNAN

Annex I

20 February 1998

Report of the United Nations Technical Mission to Iraq


1. The United Nations Technical Mission was guided by the enclosed terms of reference provided by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

2. The original team was composed of Staffan de Mistura, Team Coordinator, Peter Fodor (Austria), surveyor/engineer, and Wolfgang Eichel (Austria), surveyor.

3. Upon arrival, after meeting with the Government of Iraq, the team was joined by two additional full-fledged members: Jaakko Ylitalo, Deputy Director, United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), and Gerard Essertel, specialist in photo analysis (UNSCOM).

4. At the same meeting, the team asked and obtained from the Government of Iraq that:

(a) It would have access to the Government of Iraq's relevant maps and have the Government of Iraq clearly define the perimeters for each "presidential site" defined and identified as such by the Government;

(b) It could use helicopters to overfly any presidential site as required by the team;

(c) It could take aerial and ground photographs of each site and each building as wished by the team.

5. The team concluded its physical surveys at 2.30 p.m. on 18 February 1998 and worked daily from 6.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.


6. The timetable available to the Mission was extremely short for such distant and different sites. The Mission was able to accomplish the following tasks listed in the second paragraph of its terms of reference:

(a) Definition on large-scale maps of the perimeter of all eight presidential sites as identified by the Government of Iraq;

(b) Determination of the approximate number, size, character and purpose of structures existing within each site.

7. For purely time-related reasons, the Mission was unable to elaborate on the maps the exact location of the buildings within each site since it gave priority to tasks (a) and (b) and also because some main buildings were already identified on the original maps.

8. On the other hand, the Mission went beyond its terms of reference by actually physically visiting as many buildings as it wished within its time limits. It should also be noted that the Mission covered by aerial and ground photographs the sites in a much more comprehensive way than originally expected.

9. The survey covered the following presidential sites, identified as such by the Government of Iraq:

1. Republican Palace Presidential Site (Baghdad).

2. Radwaniyah Presidential Site (Baghdad).

3. Sijood Presidential Site (Baghdad).

4. Tikrit Presidential Site.

5. Thartar Presidential Site.

6. Jabal Nakhul Presidential Site.

7. Mosul Presidential Site.

8. Basra Presidential Site.

10. Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were extensively overflown by helicopter and then visited on the ground, perimeters were defined, both aerial photographs and ground photographs were taken and buildings were visited internally.

11. The same procedure applied for sites 7 and 8, except that they were not overflown, for two reasons: (a) the use of helicopters in the extreme north or south was considered by the United Nations side unnecessary in view of the current tense international environment; and (b) because of their size and location, ground photographs could be sufficient.

12. During their physical ground surveys the team did not identify large office buildings or barracks, with the exception of the Republican Palace Presidential Site, where they found office buildings for the presidential staff involved in running the daily work of the Government. In addition, within the Republican Palace Presidential Site, the team did identify a headquarters building for the Presidential Battalion and a nearby helicopter pad with two medium-size helicopter sheds. On 20 February 1998, the team asked to visit these facilities and did so on the same morning. Apart from the above, the team noted in all other presidential sites several sentry towers and/or guard rooms, but no military barracks as such.

13. All eight "presidential sites" visited appeared to be well defined by high walls or fences. They all had a rather similar landscape pattern: main guesthouses, with an integrated system of ancillary buildings and villas for accompanying dignitaries. Often an artificial lake with small artificial decorative islands located in a way to give access to the lake from each guesthouse.

14. The total area surveyed amounts to about 31.5 square kilometres. The largest presidential site, the Radwaniyah, totalled around 17.8 square kilometres and the smallest 0.8 square kilometres. The area covered by artificial lakes is estimated to add up to approximately 10.2 square kilometres.

15. The team experienced undisturbed access to all buildings they wished to survey and unrestricted authorization to take photographs.

16. At the specific request of the Government of Iraq, the United Nations team also surveyed internally and externally, while localizing it by global positioning system (GPS) coordinates, a specific building called Al Hyatt located within the Presidential Republican Palace Site. This building, which apparently in September 1997 had been a cause of contention between the Government of Iraq and UNSCOM, was photographed internally and visited extensively by the team.

17. The following senior officials of the Government of Iraq were available at hand for any questions or enquiries raised by the team: the Minister for Oil, Lt.-Gen. Amir Muhammad Rachid; the Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Raid Al Qaysi; the Director-General of Engineering of Presidential sites, Mr. Hussain Khadduia; the Director-General of the National Monitoring Governorate, Enecal Hassian Amin; and the Special Personal Secretary of the President of Iraq, Dr. Abid Mohammed.


18. The team was assisted by the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) in its external travel arrangements.

19. The team in Iraq received full-time assistance both from UNSCOM and the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq in terms of office personnel, logistical, communication and transport support.

20. For the actual identification of the coordinates of each perimeter, the team used two hand-held GPS sets (Garrin 45x) provided by UNSCOM.

21. The photographs were taken by the UNSCOM photo specialist, Gerald Essertel, using a Nikon F806 camera with films specially designed for both aerial and ground photographs. In total, 523 photographs were taken.

22. Both Government of Iraq and UNSCOM helicopters were used as necessary and ground transportation was arranged by the Government of Iraq, UNSCOM and the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.


23. The end result of this survey is enclosed herewith. It includes for each presidential site:1 2

(a) A global positioning system (GPS)-identified perimeter based on Government of Iraq indications. This perimeter is marked on the original map provided by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General to the Mission;

(b) An outline of the actual area identified as the presidential site by the Government of Iraq, with its relevant GPS points and the calculation of its total size in square metres;

(c) A list of GPS coordinates for each presidential site;

(d) Two additional scale maps of each site;

(e) A list of buildings estimated to be in each presidential site and a description of their approximate number, nature and utilization;

(f) A complete set of photographs taken by air and by ground for each presidential site.

24. The members of the United Nations Technical Mission wish to express their appreciation to the Secretary-General for having entrusted them with this delicate technical mission.

(Signed) Staffan de MISTURA

Team Coordinator


1 There are three separate and complementary maps for the Radwaniyah Presidential Site in view of its complex shape and size.

2 The average maximum size of the main buildings listed as presidential guesthouses could be estimated as follows: large presidential guesthouse: 6,000 m2 (2/3 floors), medium presidential guesthouse: 1,500 m2 (2 floors) and small presidential guesthouse: 600 m2 (1 floor), whereas the Presidential Republican Palace located in the Presidential Republican Site has the following approximate size: 33,000 m2 (3/4 floors).

Annex II

Letter dated 21 February 1998 from the Secretary-General

addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

I have the honour to share with you the end result of the survey of the "presidential sites" in Iraq implemented by the United Nations Technical Mission designated by me.

(Signed) Kofi A. ANNAN