Inaction By UN Allows Iraq To Impose Inhuman Conditions on Camp Liberty


There is a crucial situation in Camp Liberty. The inhuman Government of Iraq is engineering extreme hardship on the people in Camp Liberty. The United Nations’ mission to Iraq, UNAMI has continually shirked its responsibility and has left Camp Liberty residents in a precarious situation.

For the second consecutive day, water tankers could not enter the airport area due to Baghdad’s security conditions.

Subsequently, they did not reach Camp Liberty. The residents were faced with a severe water shortage. Only the residents own water tankers could bring water into the camp.

Handicaped in camp Liberty

If the Government of Iraq would have abided by its initial agreement and would have allowed each group of 400 residents to bring their utility tankers from Ashraf to Camp Liberty, the residents would not have faced continuous shortages of water in Iraq’s hot temperatures.

Even if the government would have agreed to several plans by the residents, at their own expense, from three months ago, and would not have limited their access to water, at least the residents would not undergo such agony and pain.

The temperature yesterday at 13:30 in the shade was above 50 degrees Centigrade. Due to gravel all over the area as well as lack of any green area or trees, the temperatures in Camp Liberty are well above Baghdad’s average temperatures.

Trucks waiting in line to get water

As a result, all the worn out AC units overload in the heat and become nonfunctional. On average, 30 AC units stopped functioning in each section during the heat of midday. This is other than the nonfunctional units that are completely out of service.

There were 15 AC units that stopped functioning, just in one of the Blocks. One of the female residents was struck by heat and fainted while coming down from the container stairs due to fatigue after walking on the gravel grounds. It is more than three months since the GoI prohibited the residents from transferring their new AC units from Ashraf.

Shortage of water and dysfunctional and worn out AC units are not the only hardships and problems for the residents. During the heat of the day, the generators stopped running as well. The temperature of the generators rose so much that the residents had to shut them down during the hottest hours of today. These generators are the only source of electridity in Camp Liberty.

The generator in section one stopped functioning due to heavy load. This is the same section that UNAMI’s deployed shelter expert had approved its generators and infrastructure according to its propaganda report on January 31, 2012.

The situation in other sections wasn’t any better. As a result, fuel consumption is higher and it causes an abnormal rise in temperature. After running for a few minutes, red lights start blinking. This is despite the fact that this generator is being serviced every day, with no result.

For the past three months, the residents have paid more than 770,000 dollars for fuel to generate electricity, 272,000 dollars to hire septic tankers to dispose of black water and more than 101,000 dollars for hiring water tankers.

The fifth group of residents however was transferred from Ashraf to Camp Liberty deceitfully, without being able to transfer their generators and utility vehicles. Preventing the residents from using their own power generators in this hot weather is a criminal act to harass the residents.

Considering that the Government of Iraq has violated its commitments towards UNAMI, it is necessary that UNAMI takes appropriate measures and end its silence over such vital humanitarian issues.

“The SRSG, Martin Kobler seems to have washed its hands of the Camp Liberty residents.”

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and human rights activist who is a member of Iranian opposition, PMOI. He graduated from Texas State University, USA. Connect with him on Twitter.