Munich Security Conference

Iraqi PM urges repatriation of citizens from Al-Hol camp

NEWSROOM – Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani met with Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The core of their discussion revolved around the dire situation at the Al-Hol camp in Syria, with Al-Sudani advocating for the repatriation of foreign nationals.

The Al-Hol camp, situated in northeastern Syria, is a focal point of humanitarian concern, hosting a diverse population that includes Syrian and Iraqi nationals as well as third-country nationals from regions including Europe, North America, and Central Asia. Governed by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and supported by UN agencies and international NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the camp faces challenges including severe movement restrictions and inadequate access to healthcare, contributing to an environment where extremism can flourish.

This call comes against the backdrop of Iraq having already repatriated many of its citizens from the camp. Governments throughout the world are reluctant to take back citizens who are in Al-Hol due to perceived security risks for the home country. This has left thousands in a state of limbo.

During the meeting, Al-Sudani highlighted the critical role of international cooperation in addressing the situation at Al-Hol, emphasizing the need for countries to repatriate their nationals to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and reduce the camp’s vulnerability to radicalization.

Egger reiterated the organization’s commitment to aid delivery in conflict-affected regions like Gaza and stressed the importance of international efforts to enhance stability and prevent further escalation of conflicts in the Middle East.