Sunday, 22 July 2012

MEK-Liberty: Brewing Humanitarian Catastrophe vs. US-UN Obligations

MoU Agreements Unilaterally Breached by Iraq Under US-UN observation. Residents would move only after the minimum humanitarian requirements are fulfilled.

In early July, vice-President of the European Parliament and President of the International Committee In Search of Justice declared a 10-point requirement plan, on behalf of the 4000 parliamentarians across Atlantic that introduced basic needs of 2000 Iranian dissidents relocated to Camp liberty;
Only after the head of Camp Liberty, Sadeg Kazem, was detained by French police for being perused by the Spanish Court for Crimes, Liberty residents have been facing intense harassment by Iraqi “plain clothed” anonymous agents who prevent food and water supplies delivery to the camp.
The residents’ representatives have repeatedly asked UNAMI representatives to compel Iraq to abide by its commitments and demanded that the police inspect the food trucks, but this has been rejected by the Suppression Committee, which is acting on behalf of the Maliki office and at the behest of Tehran.
Consecutive press statements by the opposition offices convey aggravated humanitarian situation for the residents already relocated at the new Camp Liberty. Extreme shortage of water, electricity and sewage sanitation at the camp; harassment of residents under pretext of controlling relocation; preventing food supplies from entry;looting property during relocation to second camp; stationing of armored vehicles and Iranian Intelligence agents at camp vicinity are akin to the previous trend which ensued a humanitarian disaster on April 8 2011.
One statement mentions that “the GoI is putting maximum pressure on Ashraf residents to continue relocation to Camp Liberty” without meeting residents’ needs under various pretexts.
The residents say their personal belongings and assets are being looted and prevented from relocation to the second camp even after detailed talks and agreements between US-US representatives with the opposition Leadership in Paris. “Ashraf residents and their representatives had presented the necessary requirements for resuming further convoys and relocation of all Ashraf residents to Liberty in six items since two months ago, which has not been fulfilled yet despite US and UN insurances. The US observer, Ambassador Daniel Fried was quoted to have this to say :
“We too heard the unfortunate news of the return of the utility vehicles. We will follow up with the Iraqi authorities to determine why they took this strange and seemingly unhelpful step”.
The statements also imply that the critical humanitarian situation prevailing in two camps simultaneously are heightened by two wrong signals both initiated by the US and UN:
The US black listing of the opposition (MEK) has been acting as a green light for the Iraqi Prime Minister to clamp down on Tehran’s opposition on behest of Terhan.
Simultaneously, conceding Camp Liberty as a Temporary Transitional Location (TTL) has served to disengage constructive obligations and justified the Iraqi government continuous breach of the MoU.
In the most recent statement by the NCRI (A Political coalition that embodies main ethnic-political and religious groups of the Iranian opposition front) a new ploy is unraveled to fail the relocation efforts by the International community and point the finger on the MEK.
Following numerous meetings with the representatives of the residents, the dignitaries from both side of the Atlantic, representatives of the US and UN; the President of International Committee in Search of Justice and Vice-president of the European Parliament, on behalf of more than 4,000 parliamentarians across the world, set the minimum humanitarian requirements: the basics for a refugee camp that has to provide 3400 people habitat, in a barren land under temperatures mounting to 56 degrees.
  • Transfer of 300 air conditioners from Ashraf to Liberty.
  • Transfer of all the power generators that are currently in Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty. If there is any dispute about the ownership of the generators, they can be resolved in the future, under supervision of UN.
  • Transfer of 25 trucks, containing the belongings left over from the fourth and fifth convoys,8 and six utility vehicles about which there had already been an agreement.
  • Transfer of five forklifts from Ashraf to Liberty for the purpose of moving the residents’ belongings.
  • Transfer of three specially-designed vehicles and six specially-designed trailers for the disabled.
  • Transfer of 50 passenger cars from Ashraf to Liberty. It means one car for every 40 residents, which is absolutely necessary in the hot weather and for wounded and disabled residents.
  • Permission for construction, including the building of pavements, porches, canopies, ramps, special facilities for the disabled and green areas.
  • Connecting Liberty to Baghdad’s water network. Alternatively, the residents should be permitted to hire Iraqi contractors to pump the water into Liberty from a nearby water canal and bringing their own water purification system from Ashraf.
  • Allowing merchants or bidders access to Ashraf to negotiate and buy the movable properties as soon as possible and to make advanced payment and start making partial payments to the residents before the resumption of the relocation of the next convoy.
  • Start of negotiations between the residents and their financial representatives and the Iraqi Government to sell the immovable assets and properties, or negotiations with third parties (Iraqi Government should provide permission) to sign the necessary agreements. Partial payments should be made before the relocation. At least 200 residents would remain at Ashraf to maintain and upkeep the properties until they are sold in their entirety.
Impediments inflicted by the Maliki government are occurring while the prime minister is under impeachment by the Iraqi parliament for violation of Iraqi Constitution and his close interaction with Tehran.
The heightening trends of economic and political ties between Iraq and Iran in recent months reveal best Iraqi final intentions on the issue; abide with agreement made with Iranian Supreme leader to behead Tehran’s main opposition, MEK.
Recently Tehran had declared that exchanges between the two countries has risen by 50% during the last Iranian year 1390 (March 21, 2011- March 21, 2012 ) compared to previous year thus reaching 9.7 billion dollars, and it will further reach 12 billion dollars in the current year. The Iraqi government therefore has played a major role in relieving the Ayatollahs of the pressures inflicted by International sanctions.
Al-Maliki’s loyalty to the ayatollahs has proved to be effective in the past. Every visit to Tehran in the past two years has given fruit to a murderous attack on the Iranian dissidents and exiles in the camp. Tehran has passed seven consecutive deadlines to expatriate to Iran or kill the dissidents through Baghdad in the past. Each of the deadlines had humanitarian consequences and has so far resulted in 56 deaths and thousands maimed and injured.
The plot today is however more disguised. With the presence of the UN and the US, it would be to the best advantage of Tehran to conceal its apparatus under the guise of the UN-US observation.
The situation as such is a reminder of the Warsaw Ghettos’ humanitarian disaster, when the Nazis had planned the genocide from long before and lured their victims to their ‘death camp.’
The paradoxical tragedy can be prevented if the UN-US play their distinctive roles; impel Iraqi government to its obligations and de-list the group from the US list that has provoked the situation.

Iraqi forces stationed all around and inside Camp Liberty
Sleeping area in Camp Liberty


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