Nearly 400 residents of Camp Ashraf today arrived safely at Camp Hurriya.
On 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.
However on December 2011, the Iraqi Government had signed an agreement that the Iraqi Government will relocate the residents of Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, to a temporary transit location.
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 today 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
Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the United States commends the Iraqi government for its facilitation of a secure and peaceful relocation process and its willingness to invest significant resources in that regard.
“The United States also commends the decision by the Ashraf residents to begin to relocate to Hurriya, where the United Nations will begin a process aimed at facilitating their eventual departure from Iraq.” -Ms. Nuland
She notes that the United States encourages Ashraf residents to continue their cooperation with the Iraqi authorities and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) as they work to complete the relocation to Hurriya.
“Patience and willingness to resolve issues related to the relocation will be important as the process moves ahead.” -Ms. Nuland
She stresses that the United States will continue to coordinate with UNAMI and the Government of Iraq to follow the relocation process. She adds that an around-the-clock UN human rights monitoring will be conducted. The U.S. will visit the temporary transit facility at Hurriya regularly and frequently.
She underlines that the United States acknowledges and echoes the call of the United Nations for the international community to expeditiously assist the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as its work at Hurriya begins, to ensure that those recognized as refugees by UNHCR under its mandate can be safely relocated out of Iraq as quickly as possible.
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.