UN officials urge protection, durable solution for residents of Iranian exile camp in Iraq

1 March 2013

Senior United Nations officials today stressed the need to redouble efforts to resettle residents of an Iranian exile camp near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which was the scene of recent attacks, and to find durable solutions for them outside of Iraq.

Camp Liberty, which houses more than 3,000 exiles, most of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran, was attacked on 9 February while most of the residents were sleeping. Six people were reportedly killed and several injured.

The camp is serving as a transit facility for the exiles while the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carries out a process to determine their refugee status.

At a meeting in Geneva today, the High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, discussed the process of resettling the residents of the camp to third countries and voiced their concern about their safety and security.

“After the despicable attacks on Camp Liberty on 9 February, it is particularly important that we redouble our efforts to resettle the residents and find durable solutions for them outside Iraq as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Kobler.

He noted that, under the memorandum of understanding of 25 December 2011, the Government of Iraq is responsible for the security and safety of the residents.

Mr. Kobler also thanked Mr. Guterres for the efforts of UNHCR and assured him that the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which he heads, will continue to support the agency to bring about a quick resettlement of the residents to third countries.

“UNHCR strongly calls on all countries to redouble their efforts to find humanitarian solutions for this population outside Iraq and urges the Iraqi Government to do everything possible in the meantime to guarantee a safe and secure environment for this population,” the agency added in a news release.


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