By signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations on 25 December, the Iraqi government has agreed to a gradual relocation of the residents of Camp Ashraf. Originally, the Iraqi government had announced that the camp would be cleared by 31 December.
A Federal Foreign Office spokeswoman made the following statement on the matter:
“The deadline for clearing the camp has been lifted by the Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed and the danger of renewed violent clashes over Camp Ashraf has, for the time being, been averted.
During the negotiations with the United Nations the Iraqi government demonstrated its willingness to cooperate. On the United Nations’ side Martin Kobler, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), put great effort into reaching this negotiated solution.
The Iraqi government bears responsibility for the security of Camp Ashraf’s residents. Their relocation must be conducted in a peaceful, orderly and non‑violent manner. The residents of Camp Ashraf must, for their part, respect the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding and cooperate with the United Nations.”
At present there are around 3,300 Iranian People’s Mojahedeen living in Camp Ashraf. The Memorandum of Understanding provides for their transfer from Camp Ashraf (just over 80 kilometres north‑east of Baghdad) to Camp Liberty, a former US military base near the Baghdad airport.
In April 2011, dozens of people were killed or injured during violent clashes between residents of the camp and Iraqi security forces.