With its commitment to advance the safe relocation of Camp Ashraf residents to Camp Hurriya, the United States of America today reaffirmed its support to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq’s (UNAMI) “Roadmap on Camp Ashraf.
In a her press statement at DC, Department Spokesperson says the “Roadmap” suggests steps for the closure of Camp Ashraf and builds upon the work that has produced the safe relocation of almost two-thirds of the residents from Ashraf to Camp Hurriya.
“We urge the leadership of Camp Ashraf and the Government of Iraq to cooperate in moving forward with this plan, which can advance our shared objective: the safe departure of the residents from Iraq.” -Ms. Nuland
Recently, the Government of Iraq has taken constructive steps to advance this process.
On July 15, the Iraqi government has transported from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya a cargo convoy of 300 additional air conditioners, several large water tanks, additional generators, and other goods to improve the residents’ quality of life at Camp Hurriya.
On July 19, the Iraqi Government transported to Camp Hurriya three specially-equipped vehicles for residents with disabilities.
The United States commends the Government for these positive measures and for its stated commitment to a peaceful resolution of this issue, which is the only acceptable outcome, Ms. Nuland said.
She adds that it is now time for the leaders of the residents at Camp Ashraf to take a similarly constructive step and immediately resume the relocation of residents from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya.
While some legitimate humanitarian issues need continued attention, prompt cooperation with UNAMI’s suggestions is critical to achieving a peaceful, humane, and secure outcome for the Ashraf residents, Ms. Nuland highlighted.
According to Ms. Nuland, the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s (MEK’s) cooperation in the closure of Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s main paramilitary base, continues to be a key factor in the Department’s upcoming determination regarding the MEK’s Foreign Terrorist Organization status.
She says the MEK’s actions in the days and weeks ahead can show whether the organization remains invested in its violent past of terrorism or is committed to leaving that past behind.
In May this year, the United States of America addressed the challenges in the relocation of Camp Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty.
In his remarks today at DC, Special Advisor on Ashraf, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ambassador Daniel Fried said the process of relocating residents to Hurriya has had challenges.
He cited that each convoy, carrying approximately 400 Ashraf residents, their personal effects, and large quantities of cargo to Hurriya, has been a significant logistical undertaking.
The Iraqi government has provided dozens of coach buses and cargo trucks and literally thousands of Iraqi security forces to provide for the convoy’s security on the road, he stated.
According to Mr. Fried, accompanying each convoy are UN human rights monitors, who also observe the screening of residents and property as each convoy loads from Camp Ashraf and provide useful, neutral reports following each convoy movement.
In addition, Mr. Fried said living conditions at Camp Hurriya have also had their challenges.
Camp Hurriya, when under U.S. control, was part of the largest coalition base in Iraq, housing thousands of American and coalition forces during military operations in Iraq.
The containerized housing units (CHUs), which the former Ashraf residents now occupy, previously housed US service personnel, he noted.
UNAMI, with active U.S. support, is working at high-levels with the Iraqi government to ensure the welfare of the residents is not compromised and to resolve issues that arise.
The next great task in this effort requires continued participation of the residents in the UNHCR process, and the diplomatic work of relocating those residents out of Iraq, Mr. Fried stressed.
Camp Hurriya may choose to return voluntarily to Iran or others may find that they have credentials and connections to European or other nations and can resettle there.
In February this year, nearly 400 residents of Camp Ashraf arrived safely at Camp Hurriya.
In December 2011, the Residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq have declared readiness for relocation of the first group of Camp Ashraf residents. They were moving from Camp Ashraf, to Camp Liberty with their vehicles and moveable belongings.
Situated in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, Camp Ashraf houses members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran. The Iraqi Government has repeatedly stated its intention to close down the camp by 31 December and to transfer residents to another location until countries willing to accept them for resettlement are found.
The important agreement stipulates on providing temporary relocation and eventual resettlement of the more than 3,000 residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
The United States of America has welcomed the peaceful departure of the first 397 residents from Camp Ashraf and joins the United Nations in welcoming their safe arrival at Camp Hurriyawelcomes Update on Camp Ashraf
Camp Ashraf is resident to 3400 members of the PMOI, main opposition and threat to Iranian mullahs. The Camp has been attacked by the Maliki forces on several occasions. The last attack led to a bloodbath; 33 killed of direct precision shooting and US Humvees ramming residents, 325 wounded and 6 taken as hostages by Iraqi thugs.
Many Disagree With US View On Ashraf
While all of this is the US State Department view of the situation, many others, closer to the issue are saying neither the UN Special Representative, nor the US State Department understand anything about what is really going on.
Much has been written about this issue in the past month, and the Special Representative’s recent statement completely ignored the failures of the Iraqi Government, which has been acting against the people of Ashraf, and for their nemesis, Iran.