Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RUSSIA TO CLOSE CHECHEN REFUGEE CAMPS

Expand Messages
  • World View
    RUSSIA TO CLOSE CHECHEN REFUGEE CAMPS, EU ALARMED Maria Golovnina, Reuters, 11/27/02 MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said Wednesday it would close tent cities
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      RUSSIA TO CLOSE CHECHEN REFUGEE CAMPS, EU ALARMED
      Maria Golovnina, Reuters, 11/27/02

      MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said Wednesday it would close "tent
      cities" housing tens of thousands of Chechen refugees by late
      December, but the European Union expressed concern over the safety
      of those who may be forced to go home.

      More than 70,000 Chechen refugees, up to 30,000 of them living in
      tents, are refusing to return to the war-torn homeland they fled
      after Russia began its second post-Soviet drive to crush the
      southern province's bid for independence in 1999.

      "There is an intention to send these people back to their native
      lands in the nearest future, perhaps in December," Aleksei Vasin,
      spokesman for the pro-Russian Chechen administration, told Reuters
      from the regional capital Grozny.

      The European Union, a major aid donor to Chechnya, said a lack of
      security in the separatist region did not allow for the safe return
      of refugees, mainly sheltering in Russia's tiny province of
      Ingushetia, which borders mostly Muslim Chechnya.

      "The European Commission, and the international community at large,
      have repeatedly asked the authorities not to close any camp in
      Ingushetia...," Poul Nielson, the EU's top aid official, said in a
      statement.

      "Forcing (refugees) to go back to Chechnya, where the conflict is
      still going on, would be against international humanitarian law as
      well as conventions that the Russian Federation is party to," he
      said.

      One refugee family told Reuters it was leaving for Grozny along with
      30 other families after local officials threatened to start burning
      their tents on Dec. 1.

      Earlier this year, the Vienna-based International Helsinki
      Federation accused Moscow of trying to force the refugees out by
      cutting off their water and food supplies. It also said the
      authorities have failed to set up adequate accommodation...
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.