A United Nations official in Iraq today announced the successful relocation of the last group of Camp Ashraf residents to a camp near the Baghdad area, pending their resettlement outside the country.
“The process, concluded today, has come a long way since its launch in February 2012, with the Government and the residents both abiding by the agreement between the UN and the Government of Iraq on the transfer of Camp Ashraf residents to the temporary transit location of Camp Hurriya,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin.
Camp Ashraf was comprised of Iranian exiles, many of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran.
More than 3,000 residents have been relocated to Camp Hurriya, previously known as Camp Liberty, while the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carries out a process to determine their refugee status, and resettle them outside of the country, in line with an agreement signed in December 2011 between the UN and the Iraqi Government.
Camp Ashraf has been attacked several times, making relocation a priority for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The latest attack, which took place earlier this month, killed and injured numerous camp residents.
“The tragic events of 1st September, when 52 residents lost their lives in a terrorist attack, while seven others are still unaccounted for, was a sombre reminder of the necessity to conclude the final phase of the relocation process without further delay,” Mr. Busztin said.
“Resettlement outside Iraq is now the priority, and it is urgent that countries ready to host the residents come forward to accept them, providing them a safe future outside Iraq.”
Mr. Busztin also called on the Iraqi Government to abide by its commitment to ensure maximum safety and security for Camp Hurriya residents until all of them leave the country.