In addition to Mr. Kobler, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also previously urged all parties to avoid violence and work together to peacefully conclude the transfer of the remaining Iranian exiles. The UNAMI news release also noted that there has been continuous progress in efforts to improve the living conditions in Camp Hurriya.
“The United Nations continues to support a peaceful solution to the issue of Camp Ashraf, continues to monitor the relocation process, and provides 24/7 monitoring in Camp Hurriya,” the Mision stated, adding that it calls upon the remaining residents of Camp Ashraf to “also start preparations for additional convoys to Campy Hurriya, in order to peacefully complete the relocation process.”Read More Download
Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf)
The Secretary-General urges the residents of Camp New Iraq to cooperate with the Government of Iraq and fully abide by the laws of the country. He also urges the residents to earnestly prepare for their next transfer to Camp Hurriya, without further delay. He calls on the Government of Iraq to continue to meet its international humanitarian obligations and to exercise restraint.
The Secretary-General reiterates that violence should, at all costs, be avoided.
The Secretary-General calls again on Member States to accept for resettlement those residents who qualify as refugees. The Secretary-General expresses his full support for the ongoing efforts by his Special Representative, Mr. Martin Kobler, to facilitate a peaceful and durable solution to the issue of Camp New Iraq, including for the purpose of safely resettling the refugees.Read More Download
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, today attended a meeting on the issue of Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf). The meeting was called by the Government of Iraq for the diplomatic community in the country.
During this meeting, SRSG Kobler urged the Government of Iraq to refrain from violence under any circumstances and to be generous when it comes to the humanitarian needs of the residents. The United Nations supports only a peaceful, humanitarian solution to the issue of Camp New Iraq.
At the same time, he urged the residents of Camp New Iraq to begin preparations for the next move to Camp Hurriya without delay. Especially vulnerable persons and minors should be included in the next group.
Mr. Kobler appealed to the international supporters of the residents to live up to their responsibilities. He also appealed to Member States to accept the residents for resettlement in their countries.Read More Download
“Our commitment is strictly humanitarian: to facilitate a voluntary temporary relocation of residents to Camp Hurriya as a first step of resettlement to countries outside Iraq,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler.
Camp Ashraf – made up of several thousand Iranian exiles, many of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran – has been one of the main issues dealt with by UNAMI for more than 18 months.
In line with a memorandum of understanding signed in December by the UN and the Iraqi Government to resolve the situation, some two-thirds of the residents, or 2,000 people, were re-located to a temporary transit location near Baghdad known as Camp Hurriya – formerly known as Camp Liberty – where a process to determine refugee status is being carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).Read More Download
When the Government announced late last-year that it would be closing the camp by 31 December, many feared a repeat of the violence of April 2011, when dozens of Ashraf residents were killed in clashes with Iraqi security forces at the camp. An earlier incident in 2009 cost the lives of at least 10 residents.Read More Download
Almost six months have passed since the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UNAMI and the Government of Iraq to peacefully relocate the residents of Camp New Iraq to Camp Hurriya. So far almost 2,000 residents have been relocated to Camp Hurriya in a peaceful and orderly way, with only 1,200 remaining.
“On this occasion, I would like to thank both the Government of Iraq and the residents for their cooperation,” SRSG Kobler said. “It is important to complete the relocation in the coming weeks. I count on the constructive spirit of all sides.”Read More Download
The United Nations top envoy in Iraq today voiced his concern about the delay in the relocation of the residents of Camp New Iraq – formerly known as Camp Ashraf – to a new location, Camp Hurriya, prior to resettlement in third countries.
“I urge the remaining residents of Camp Ashraf to relocate to Camp Hurriya without delay,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Martin Kobler, said. “The relocation process should not be stalled. I am concerned that there will be violence if the relocation doesn’t recommence. Any violence would be unacceptable.”Read More Download
Baghdad — The United Nations welcomes the safe relocation today of around 400 from Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf) to Camp Hurriya, the new temporary transit location for the residents.
“I commend the residents for their decision to move to Camp Hurriya. This is the first step towards a better future outside Iraq. I look forward to their continued cooperation with the Iraqi authorities to complete the relocation without delay,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Martin Kobler, who was present when the residents arrived at Camp Hurriya.
“I also commend the Iraqi authorities for having ensured a safe and secure relocation of the first group of residents. I urge them to pursue the relocation of the remaining residents in a manner that continues to guarantee the human rights, safety and welfare of all residents,” SRSG Kobler added.
Today’s voluntary relocation is in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 25 December 2011 between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq. Under this agreement, the U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, will start immediately upon the arrival of the first residents in Camp Hurriya the verification and refugee status determinations. This is an essential step to prepare the submissions of eligible candidates for resettlement to third countries.
Also according to the MoU, the U.N. will monitor the entire relocation process from Camp New Iraq to Camp Hurriya and provide round-the-clock human rights monitoring at Camp Hurriya.
“The U.N. will continue to uphold its commitment to facilitate, in an impartial manner, a peaceful and durable solution to this humanitarian situation,” said SRSG Kobler.
“Now that a first group of residents has moved to Camp Hurriya and UNHCR is ready to start its work, it’s time for the international community to confirm its readiness to accept eligible candidates,” he added.Read More Download
Baghdad– Further steps have been achieved in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the United Nations and the Government of Iraq on 25 December 2011 on a peaceful and humanitarian solution to the situation of the residents of Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf).
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UNAMI Human Rights Office have now confirmed that the infrastructure and facilities at Camp Liberty are in accordance with the international humanitarian standards stipulated in the MoU. “I am grateful to the UNHCR and the Human Rights team for their expertise. This brings us a step further in ensuring that proper conditions are in place for voluntary relocation of Camp New Iraq residents”, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Martin Kobler said.
Additionally, UN monitors are ready to start round-the-clock human rights monitoring during the transport of residents from camp New Iraq as well as upon their arrival at camp Liberty. UNHCR is also ready to commence the refugee status determination as soon as residents start arriving to the camp.
It is now time for the Government of Iraq to organize the modalities of the transport from Camp New Iraq to Camp Liberty and other relevant issues with the residents. In this regard, SRSG Kobler requested the Iraqi authorities that their focal point engages with the residents. For this purpose, the UN stands ready to facilitate their efforts if requested.
“It is important that the MoU is implemented in letter and spirit. The MoU stands only for a peaceful solution and a voluntary relocation of Camp New Iraq residents”, SRSG Kobler said. “The United Nations’ consistent position is that a violent outcome is unacceptable. The MoU paves the way for UNHCR to conduct the verification and Refugee Status Determination (RSD) processes, which is a necessary first step to resettle the residents in other countries and enjoy their freedom and liberty.” SRSG Kobler added.
The RSD process to be carried out by the UNHCR is key to finding permanent host countries for residents. “Member States have a crucial role in helping to resolve the situation of Camp New Iraq residents and I do urge them again to accept residents in their countries. This is a critical contribution to the humanitarian solution we are all seeking.”Read More Download