Special Representative Warns against Underestimating Task Ahead, Especially On Security Front; Seeks Extended Deadline for Resettling Camp Ashraf’s Residents
Noting that Iraq had requested United Nations assistance in facilitating a peaceful and durable solution to the situation of Camp Ashraf, he said the Organization was working exhaustively to do so. However, the positions of the Government and the camp’s residents and leadership remained far apart. The 31 December deadline set by the Government to relocate the camp’s residents to another location until third-party resettlement countries were identified was fast approaching. The residents, who hoped to remain in the camp until the third-party countries were found, did not agree to be transferred to a location “without the protection of blue helmets”.
“There is real danger of confrontation and even violence unless a mutually acceptable solution is achieved,” he said, noting at the same time that the Government had agreed to give UNHCR its mandated role. It had also given assurances of its commitment to the principle of non-refoulement. He called on all concerned to act with restraint and flexibility to ensure that a peaceful solution was found.
To that end, he said UNAMI and UNHCR had formed a working group on Camp Ashraf that had frequently met with the Iraqi Government in recent weeks. UNAMI also continued to visit the camp on a regular basis, and the Secretary-General had spoken to Prime Minister Maliki on the matter. For its part, the United Nations was emphasizing that lives must be protected and that any forced action that resulted in bloodshed or loss of life would be ill-advised and unacceptable. Any workable solution must be mutually acceptable and respect Iraqi sovereignty and relevant international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law. It must also respect the principle of non-refoulement.Read More Download
Baghdad–Over the past few years the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the High Commissioner for Human Rights have been closely monitoring the situation in Camp Ashraf, exploring possible assistance in reaching a resolution that is consistent with Iraq’s sovereignty rights and international law.
UNAMI’s mandate includes the promotion of human rights in Iraq and the Mission’s Human Rights Office regularly assesses the situation in and around camp Ashraf from a purely human rights and humanitarian perspective. The UN continues to advocate that Camp Ashraf residents be protected from forcible deportation, expulsion or repatriation contrary to the non-refoulement principle.
UNAMI will continue to assist the GoI in search of a peaceful and lasting solution to the issues of Camp Ashraf in line with international humanitarian and human rights law and seeks the support of the international community in these efforts.
This position has been consistently reiterated by UNAMI leadership, including during the meeting Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ad Melkert had with Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki on 28 August as part of his farewell calls on Iraqi Government officials at the end of his assignment in Iraq.Read More Download
Baghdad–The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is concerned over reports of recent violent incidents in Ashraf camp resulting in deaths and injuries. UNAMI reiterates that efforts are needed to stop violence and aim at peacefully resolving all issues.
UNAMI calls for restraint and respect for humanitarian and human rights and urges the Iraqi authorities to provide humanitarian assistance in this regard and access to medical services.
UNAMI’s mandate includes the promotion of human rights in Iraq, and the Mission’s Human Rights Office regularly assesses the situation in and around the camp. The UN continues to advocate that Camp Ashraf residents be protected from forcible deportation, expulsion or repatriation contrary to the non-refoulement principle.
Over the past few years the UNAMI and the High Commissioner on Human Rights have been closely monitoring the situation in Camp Ashraf, exploring possible assistance in reaching a resolution that is consistent with Iraq’s sovereignty rights, and international law. UNAMI is committed to continue monitoring the situation in the Camp.Read More Download
Baghdad– At different meetings with representatives of the Government of Iraq and with representatives of the diplomatic community in Baghdad, UNAMI has continued to promote further consultations concerning the future of the residents of Camp Ashraf.
In light of the Government’s announcement that initial steps will be undertaken on 15 December, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ad Melkert, has reiterated the UN’s concern that any action should be based on the principle that residents should be protected from forcible deportation, expulsion or repatriation contrary to the non-refoulement principle.
UNAMI calls on all stakeholders to intensify consultations to look for a resolution that is consistent with Iraq’s legitimate sovereignty rights and international law; that will be based on the free expression of personal preference by individual residents; and that will seriously address options for voluntary resettlement outside Iraq.
The UN remains committed in the weeks ahead to monitor the situation in the camp on a daily basis, following the practice of regular monitoring over the past few years by UNAMI and the High Commissioner on Human Rights.Read More Download
UNHCR calls for cooperation and solidarity amid efforts to find solutions for the residents of Camp “New Iraq”
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) called today for cooperation, patience and understanding of all parties involved in efforts to find solutions for the residents of the Camp “New Iraq” (formerly camp Ashraf) north of Iraqi capital Baghdad. Protection and solutions for some 3,200 current and former residents of the camp are the primary objectives of efforts led by the United Nations to close the camp peacefully and resolve the situation of its residents.
UNHCR is currently assessing individual protection needs of former residents of Camp New Iraq once they are transferred to Hurriya (Liberty) transit centre. “Status determination, however, does not in itself resolve things,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Ms. Erika Feller, on return recently from Baghdad. “It must be accompanied by efforts from all concerned, in good faith and in a spirit of international solidarity, to offer resettlement solutions and, in the interim, to assist people to stay safely and decently until such solutions can be materialized”.Read More Download
On 18 February 2012, the first group of nearly 400 residents were transferred peacefully by the Government of Iraq to Camp Hurriya (Liberty). Monitoring of the movement was carried out by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). Subsequent transfers have also been completed, including two groups of approximately 400 persons. Further transfers are expected to be carried out in the coming weeks.
On 19 February 2012, UNHCR commenced the adjudication process of the transferred residents and the process is ongoing. UNHCR has mobilized teams on the ground, and has put in place the necessary software and hardware support capabilities. Individual interviews are taking place in a safe, neutral and confidential location. Decisions on refugee status and referrals to resettlement countries are being made.
The stipulation of the Government of Iraq remains that these processes take place outside Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf). UNHCR attaches utmost importance to peaceful solutions being found, including that any relocation outside Camp New Iraq proceed on a voluntary basis, with freedom of movement the most desirable state at the site of relocation.Read More Download
Statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, Regarding Solutions for the Residents of Camp New Iraq (Ashraf)
GENEVA – I want to express my deep appreciation for the tireless efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, to reach an agreement with the Government of Iraq regarding a process for the voluntary relocation of the residents of Camp New Iraq (former CampAshraf). UNHCR is fully engaged in this initiative and looks forward to the voluntary and peaceful transfer of the asylum seekers to a temporary site so that UNHCR can proceed immediately with the determination of their status in accordance with its mandate.Read More Download
High Rep. Ashton is actively engaged in a peaceful and ordrly solution for residents of Camp Ashraf 3000 members of (PMOI)in Iraq.Read More Download
On Dec 9, 2011 The High Rep. Ashton encourage all those who can bring any influence to bear on the situation to do so constructively, placing the security and safety of the residenst as the utmost priority.Read More Download