The sixth convoy of approximately 400 Ashraf residents today arrived safely in Camp Hurriya, a new location prior to their eventual resettlement in third countries, the U.S. State Department said.
The group of new arrivals is the first such convoy in over three months.
In Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the United States welcomes today’s safe arrival of 400 Ashraf residents to Camp Hurriya.
“We welcome and are encouraged by this resumption of cooperation by the Ashraf residents in the relocation process as set forth in the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Iraq and the United Nations.” – Ms. Nuland
UN Photo/Mark Garten
The United States calls on the Camp Ashraf leadership to continue this progress by cooperating with the expeditious relocation of the approximately 800 remaining residents at Camp Ashraf.
Ms. Nuland says the Government of Iraq has made considerable efforts to achieve a peaceful and secure resolution for the residents of Camp Ashraf.
“We urge continued steps to address humanitarian concerns raised at Camp Hurriya by the residents.” – Ms. Nuland
Recent progress includes the commencement of construction on a water purification station linked to an outside water source, Ms. Nuland said.
Ms. Nuland highlighted that the United States encourages these efforts and reiterates its commitment to work towards resolution of humanitarian issues at Hurriya, including sustainable means for the continued supply of water and electricity.
“The United States also reiterates its commitment to support the safety and security of the residents throughout the process of their relocation outside of Iraq.” -Ms. Nuland
Unfortunately, the State Department appears to be completely blind to the actual situation, in which Iraq is continually harassing and hurting the unarmed residents of Camp Ashraf, even in the face of video documentary evidence. – See the video below, dated August 27th, 2012
In addition, the United Nations top envoy in Iraq today hailed the relocation of another group of 400 Iranian exiles from a camp outside of the capital, Baghdad to Camp Hurriya.
“I welcome the residents’ decision to re-commence the relocation process from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya.” – Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq
Reports say three-fourths of the residents, 2,400 persons have now arrived in Camp Hurriya.
Prior to today’s transfer, close to 1,300 individuals were still awaiting relocation from Camp Ashraf to the transit centre.
In 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.
In July 19, the Iraqi Government transported to Camp Hurriya three specially-equipped vehicles for residents with disabilities.
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.
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 in 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.
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 housed 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.
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.