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Martin Kobler noted that UN staff who monitor the human rights and humanitarian situation of the residents of Camp Hurriya on a daily basis are often denied access to certain areas of the site which "hinders the performance of their duties."

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Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Martin Kobler, on November 29 briefed to the Security Council on a range of issues related to Iraq, such as situation affecting the MeK located in a camp outside of the capital, Baghdad.

 

Martin Kobler told the Security Council: "I wish to emphasize that Camp Liberty was only meant to be an interim facility to facilitate the Refugee Status Determination and subsequent resettlement in third countries."

 

The envoy urged the international community to come forward with offers for their resettlement: "I should like to take this opportunity to reiterate the Secretary-General's appeal to Member States to offer resettlement opportunities to former residents of Camp Ashraf - without such an undertaking, there can be no sustainable solution for the residents."

 

In line with a memorandum of understanding signed in December by the UN and the Iraqi Government to resolve the situation, more than 3,100 of the 3,280 residents originally in Camp Ashraf - now also known as Camp New Iraq - have been re-located to a temporary transit location near Baghdad, known as Camp Hurriya - and formerly known as Camp Liberty - where a process to determine refugee status is being carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). There are 100 residents left in Camp Ashraf.

 

"The Government of Iraq insists to close Camp Ashraf in the next days," Mr. Kobler said. "It requested the last 100 residents be relocated to Camp Hurriya."

 

"The Government of Iraq considers this stalemate as an attempt by the residents to delay the relocation of the remaining 100 persons," Mr. Kobler said. "The Government of Iraq's patience is, therefore, wearing thin. I call on the residents of Ashraf to cooperate with the Government of Iraq to solve all outstanding questions related to property."

 

In addition, he noted that UN staff who monitor the human rights and humanitarian situation of the residents of Camp Hurriya on a daily basis are often denied access to certain areas of the site which "hinders the performance of their duties."

 

"I urge the residents to engage constructively with the Government of Iraq and the United Nations so that Camp Ashraf can be closed peacefully and efforts can focus on the residents' resettlement to third countries," he added.

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