الجمعة، 6 مايو، 2011

US proposes to relocate MKO in Iraq temporary

The US has proposed to relocate the Iranian Mojahedine Khalq Organization (MKO) in different parts of Iraq before moving them to a third country, a US diplomat told Reuters Thursday.

mujahidin 
xalq camp ashraf,ashraf,ashrafeThe unnamed diplomat told the agency that the US proposal is to prevent further clashes between Iraqis and the members of the dissident Iranian organization, consolidated in Camp Ashraf.

The Iraqi army attacked the Camp, situated northeast of the Iraqi town of Khalis (about 120 kilometers west of the Iranian border and 60 kilometers north of Baghdad) on April 8, 2001. Some 34 residents were killed and dozens were wounded in the assault.

One further purpose behind relocation of the MKO members inside Iraq is to keep them further away from the Iranian border. 

If the proposal is accepted, the US will discuss with Iraq and the internal community the measures to secure the group inside Iraq, the diplomat said. He added the UN is also trying to convince the leaders of the Camp to allow for the members take asylum in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.  

The idea for resettlement of the MKO in third countries came after the recent attack on Camp Ashraf. MKO says camp residents were killed by Iraqi forces. The Iraqi government, however, says it believes about 30 people were shot dead by guards at the camp. However, Amnesty International video clips of the clashes uploaded to YouTube by the MKO shows “Iraqi soldiers indiscriminately fired into the crowds and used vehicles to try and run others down."

MKO moved to Iraq after the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  After the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 the group was consolidated in Camp Ashraf, nearly 15 km north of Baquba. First the coalition forces and then in 2009 the Iraqi forces assumed the responsibility of protecting the camp.

According to a U.S. funded study institution, RAND, many members of the group wish to leave the "sect-like" group but face sorts of threats from their leadership as well as the Iraqi public who accuses the group of assisting Saddam in repressing Iraqis

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