The top United Nations official in Iraq today welcomed the relocation to Albania of 27 residents from an exile camp near western Baghdad.
“A total of 71 men and women now have safely arrived in Albania and have benefited from the Government of Albania's offer to accept 210 of the Camp's residents,” said the UN Special Representative for the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Martin Kobler.
Some 3,000 residents, most of them members of a group known as the People's Mojahedeen of Iran, are temporarily housed in a transit facility called Camp Liberty – also know as Camp Hurriya – while the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carries out a process to determine their refugee status.
Mr. Kobler said in addition to Albania, Germany has offered to relocate some 100 residents. The departure of the group from Iraq is in accordance with the memorandum of understanding of 25 December 2011, which foresees the relocation of the residents to third countries.
“I once again thank both countries' governments for their generosity and call on other Member States to receive residents as well,” the UN envoy said.
The relocation comes just days after two people were reportedly killed and dozens injured in a mortar attack to the camp.
“Last week's tragic events have once again shown how important it is to relocate the residents to third countries as quickly as possible,” Mr. Kobler noted.
The camp had previously been attacked in February while most of the residents were sleeping. The attack resulted in six deaths and various injuries.