TITLE=U-N / AFGHANISTAN (L-ONLY)
INTRO: The United Nations Refugee Agency, U-N-H-C-R,
reports an estimated 160-thousand people have fled the
recent upsurge of fighting in northeastern
Afghanistan. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the
agency says people displaced by fighting between
Taleban soldiers and opposition troops are scattered
in different areas of the country.
TEXT: The U-N Refugee Agency reports a steady stream
of around 150 internally displaced Afghanis continue
to arrive in Kabul every day. The total number there
is estimated at 30 to 40-thousand. The agency says
the displaced are scattered throughout the city. And,
approximately seven-thousand are being assisted in the
Russian embassy compound.
U-N-H-C-R Spokesman, Kris Janowski says another 100-
thousand people are in the Panjshir Valley and more
than 10-thousand others have fled to the Kunduz area.
He says various U-N and private aid agencies are
providing medical, food and shelter assistance to the
We've got reports about the internally displaced
moving closer to the borders with Tajikistan and
Pakistan -- even though no major outflows into
Tajikistan and Pakistan are expected. We've had
assurances from both Tajikistan and Pakistan
that the border will remain open in case the
people are forced to flee.
Meanwhile, the U-N Human Rights Office reports its
Special Investigator on Violence against Women
(Radhika Coomaraswamy) is leaving for a 12 day visit
to Afghanistan and Pakistan on September first (next
week). But U-N Human Rights Spokesman, Jose Diaz says
there's a possibility that the trip to Afghanistan may
be cancelled, if fighting makes it too dangerous for
her to go. He says the investigator hopes to collect
first-hand information from a wide-range of sources to
better assess the situation of women in Afghanistan.
He says the Taleban have agreed to the visit.
They have indicated that if she is able to
travel there, they would provide cooperation.
She had to obtain the cooperation from the de
facto authorities to go to the country. We have
to see whether the security situation will
permit her to go to Afghanistan.
In a related matter, the U-N Sub-Commission on Human
Rights has adopted a resolution condemning Afghanistan
for what it calls its discriminatory policies toward
women and girls. The Commission urges that diplomatic
recognition and financial help be withheld from the
Taleban regime until it ends these policies. (Signed)
27-Aug-1999 10:52 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1452 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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