16 July 2012
Government of Iraq refuses to provide the minimum humanitarian needs
in Camp Liberty in grave violation of
the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and international laws
Our clients in Ashraf will leave for Camp Liberty
immediately after these needs are provided but not before that
From 17 February until 4 May, 2000 Ashraf residents moved to Camp Liberty despite constant breaches of agreements by the GoI and all obstructions and harassments caused by its forces during the relocations.
The Iraqi side has systematically breached the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other agreements reached with the United Nations from the onset and thus brought the relocation to an impasse in early May when 2000 people were crammed into Camp Liberty without their minimum humanitarian needs provided. Therefore, further relocation has become totally impossible until the GoI addresses its commitments by providing the residents’ minimum humanitarian needs like water, electricity, special needs for the disabled, cars for carrying residents at 50 degrees Celsius and forklifts for lifting heavy loads.
On 1 July, a meeting was held in Paris between residents’ representatives and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) in presence of American and European observers in order to bring an end to the impasse. Two proposals were separately suggested by American and European sides both raising 10 points for the GoI to fulfill before the sixth convoy can depart from Ashraf. These are very simple points and can be easily fulfilled if the political will exists in the GoI for a peaceful solution.
However, the GoI refuses to implement these points and it has only transferred part of the belongings remained from groups 4 and 5, and 300 air conditioners leaving at least 8 items totally unfulfilled as listed below:
1. Connecting Liberty to the city water network or transferring the equipment from Ashraf for pumping water from a river close to Camp Liberty.
2. Transfer of all the existing generators in Ashraf to Camp Liberty, particularly the 6 large ones for producing the required electricity supplies in the camp. These generators belong to the residents and their purchasing documents are available.
3. Transfer of six utility vehicles of the fifth group, mainly women, which were turned around to Ashraf half way to Liberty and are essentially needed in Camp Liberty;
4. Transfer of three special vehicles and six trailers for the disabled;
5. Transfer of five forklifts for lifting heavy loads;
6. Transfer of fifty passenger vehicles or alternatively required number of buses for 2000 people. These vehicles are seriously needed for transport inside the camp at extremely hot and dusty weather of Iraq;
7. Allowing the residents to build things like footpath, porches, canopies, ramps and green area;
8. Allowing merchants to have access to Ashraf, buy the movable properties and start making partial payments to the residents, and also start of negotiations between the residents and the GoI or other parties with permission from the GoI for the sale of immovable properties in Ashraf, and remaining of 200 people in the camp until the sale ends. This is necessary to enable the residents to pay for their high costs at Liberty;
International Committee of Jurists in Defence of Ashraf underscores the followings:
A. Fulfillment of the above points is an essential duty of the GoI within the MoU, International Humanitarian Law and international human rights laws. We recommend to Ashraf residents to refuse to relocate to Liberty until the above minimums are fulfilled. Hesitating to provide these needs is a grave violation of international laws for which the GoI should be held accountable.
B. The US government and the United Nations are fully responsible for the protection, safety and well being of the residents and should press the GoI to fulfill the above minimums.
C. The UN Secretary General and his Special Representative for Iraq should report the realities of Ashraf and Liberty to the coming Security Council meeting and while specifying the failure of the GoI in providing the humanitarian and human rights standards in Liberty should ask the Security Council to convince the GoI to fulfill its duties.
International Committee of Jurists in Defence of Ashraf