On Wednesday, 21/03/2012 Martin Kobler, the UN Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nation Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), reported to the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the work of the UNHCR and UNAMI in Iraq and the current situation of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.
As part of his description of the problems of resettlement of the Ashraf residents Kobler said that it demanded a cooperative attitude from the residents.
The infrastructure at Camp Liberty was indeed improved, but the basic services are guaranteed. The capacity of the camp was for use by 4000 – 5000 U.S. soldiers and UN staff. This has been sufficient and would offer ample space.
The medical care at Camp Ashraf, although confined to two doctors and six nurses, but also including use of hospitals outside of Liberty, is guaranteed. The establishment of a clinic inside the camp had, however, until recently been refused by the residents, said Kobler.
In addition, there are ultra-modern kitchen facilities in accordance with U.S. standards, but these were rejected by the occupants.
The U.S. special envoy for Camp Ashraf, Daniel Fried, said that the information that the United States has of the situation in Camp Ashraf and Liberty is consistent with Kobler’s descriptions. The conditions at Camp Liberty are not nearly as bad as described by the MEK.
Kobler appealed to the MEK, to refrain from propaganda and complained that the constant, unnecessary rhetorical attacks by the MEK and its supporters are hindering the UN and the Iraqis in their work.
Fried said the key to success is not discussions about the conditions at Camp Liberty, but the progress of the work of the UNHCR.
In a conversation with Mr Kobler following the meeting, we had the opportunity to inform him of our "Back to the Family" initiative and asked him to work to ensure that in individual discussions with the UNHCR the Ashraf residents are made aware as soon as possible that contact with their family members is available.