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Indeed, the fact of continued progress is more remarkable than the difficulties. Patience and compromise have been required, and will still be required, as the last convoys needed to close Camp Ashraf are organized.

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee

After the fifth convoy, the Department of State publicly welcomed the progress to date, including the continued cooperation of the Iraqi Government and the residents of Camp Ashraf with UNAMI in implementation of the MOU. Our statement also noted the need to increase our focus on our ultimate objective: the safe relocation of the residents from Camp Hurriya out of Iraq, and we joined the UN's call to member states to assist in this effort.


The process of relocating residents to Hurriya has had challenges. 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 busses and cargo trucks and literally thousands of Iraqi security forces to provide for the convoy's security on the road. 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.


The preparation of each convoy is lengthy and disagreements, sometimes heated, have occurred between the Iraqi authorities and the residents about cargo, screening procedures and other issues. The U.S. Embassy and Department of State of followed the progress of each convoy closely, often in real time, in support of the UN; we are well aware of the difficulties involved. Given the history of Camp Ashraf, the emotions involved, and the fact that many of those at Camp Ashraf have resided there for years, this should not surprise us.


Indeed, the fact of continued progress is more remarkable than the difficulties. Patience and compromise have been required, and will still be required, as the last convoys needed to close Camp Ashraf are organized.


Living conditions at Camp Hurriya have also had their challenges. There were early issues with water, sewage and electric power, though many of these have been resolved. There were early concerns about the location and size of Iraqi police units at Camp Hurriya, though here, too, a satisfactory resolution was worked out. Both Camps Ashraf and Hurriya have internet connectivity to the world.


Still, some issues remain. For example, greater attention needs to be paid to the repair of air conditioning units by the Government of Iraq, and other basic welfare needs, such as accommodations for the disabled, ought to be addressed.The Iraqi government needs to work with the UN to address ongoing humanitarian concerns as the population at Camp Hurriya grows amid hot weather. The residents meanwhile need to engage with the Iraqi government, the UN, and othe

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