Speaker: Allan, J. (independent)
Date: 27 March 2018
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Mr. Jeffrey Allan (Independent) as a part of its SMA CENTCOM Speaker Series. Mr. Allan worked as a United Nations political affairs officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. In that capacity, he frequently liaised with US diplomats and uniformed military personnel. Mr. Allan’s involvement with the MEK as a UN political affairs officer took place many months before the most significant developments in the MEK file occurred (i.e. when the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Iraq had full responsibility). During his UN assignments in Iraq, several occasions came up where Mr. Allan liaised with the US military in his capacity as a UN political affairs officer, including during his time in Diyala province and Ninewa province.
Mr. Allan discussed the many prominent grievances he had identified among the population during his time at the Mujahedin-E Khalq (MEK) Compound at Camp Ashraf in 2010. He further noted how he and a team of UN political affairs and human rights officers were able to work with MEK members to help settle these grievances. Mr. Allan also spoke about his time at Forward Operating Base Grizzly, where he and his teammates were responsible for earning MEK members’ confidence and keeping an open channel of communication between the US and the MEK. He talked about what he learned through his experiences as a political affairs officer in Mosul, where he worked with Iraqi cultural and religious minorities and encouraged consistent dialogue among the groups, mediated ongoing disputes, and promoted reconciliation. At the end of the session, Mr. Allan spoke about the reconstruction process in liberated areas of Iraq after the withdrawal of US forces and the present day post-conflict challenges that Iraq faces.
To access an audio file of the speaker session, please contact Ms. Nicole Peterson (firstname.lastname@example.org).