UN, Iraq sign MoU to relocate MKO members

The United Nations and the Government of Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding to relocate MKO members living in a camp in the north-eastern part of the country.

According to Habilian Association database, UN News Center reported on Saturday that an agreement signed yesterday by Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Martin Kobler and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Faleh Fayad.

The agreement established that the Iraqi government will relocate the residents of Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, to a temporary transit location where the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will start a process of refugee status determination, a necessary first step for their resettlement outside Iraq.

The agreement also states that the UN will provide around the clock monitoring until the process is completed, and that UNHCR will immediately deploy a team at the new location to proceed with the verification of the claims for refugee status it has received.

In addition, the agreement includes “a clear commitment from the government of Iraq to ensure the safety and security of the residents at the new location,” and to have a liaison officer from the Ministry of Human Rights involved in the relocation, according to a news release issued by UNAMI.

“The memorandum of understanding respects the sovereignty of Iraq and its international humanitarian and human rights obligations and protects the security and rights of the camp's residents,” Mr. Kobler said, stressing that it was the result of a long process to find a “peaceful and durable solution” to the situation of the residents of the camp.

“I want to make it very clear that this memorandum of understanding is about voluntary relocation and its implementation is based firmly on all sides acting peacefully and in good faith,” Mr. Kobler said. “I also reiterate my call to Members States of the UN to accept the residents of the camp in their countries,” he added.

Situated in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, the camp houses terrorist members of Mojahedin-e Khalq group. Before signing the agreement the Iraqi government had 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 were found.

So far, no country has expressed its readiness to accept these members on account of the cult's violent history.

Last week French-language Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes wrote, “Despite US pressures, Federal Office for Migration in Switzerland rejected the resettlement of 11 members of the MKO organization.”

“These individuals pose a great threat to our national security,” Federal Office for Migration in Switzerland explained that why they did not accept MKO members, IRNA quoted the newspaper as reporting.

On Saturday Ali Akbar Rastgou, defected member of MKO terrorist group now living in Germany, in an open letter to German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich requested him not to let MKO members enter the country under the cover of wounded patients.