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DATE=11/9/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=UNHCR / CHECHNYA (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-255970 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The U-N Refugee Agency says Chechen refugees are fleeing into neighboring Ingushetia at the rate of about four-thousand a day. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the U-N-H-C-R says it is alarmed about the humanitarian crisis in Chechnya. TEXT: Nearly 20-thousand people have fled from Chechnya to Ingushetia since the Russians relaxed border controls last Wednesday, according to the U-N Refugee Agency. At the same time, several thousand have crossed back into Chechnya to collect family members who were left behind. U-N-H-C-R Spokesman, Kris Janowski, says the Russians transported several-hundred Chechen refugees in Ingushetia to areas controlled by the Russian troops in Northern Chechnya. /// JANOWSKI ACT /// They are mostly taking ethnic Russians back who fled together with everyone else. And, they are taking these people voluntarily. I mean, this is not a forced return. These people want to go back to areas controlled by the Russian troops. /// OPT /// But, they are mostly ethnic Russians as far as we know. And, we are talking here, very small numbers. They took 400-people yesterday (Monday). Earlier on at some point, they took a couple hundred as well. So, it is not a very large movement. /// End opt /// /// END ACT /// The U-N Agency estimates more than 200-thousand Chechens have fled to Ingushetia. Most of these people are staying with Ingush families, but about 21- thousand refugees are living in tented camps or railway cars. Mr. Janowski says this number is likely to increase. He says the humanitarian situation in Ingushetia is reaching crisis proportions. He says the houses of Ingush families hosting refugees are overcrowded and they badly need food and clothing. Furthermore, he notes thousands of people living in tents and railway cars are going to have a very difficult time during the coming harsh winter. Mr. Janowski says the Refugee Agency is gravely concerned about the situation of civilians in Chechnya. He says there are reports of increasing civilian casualties as a result of the Russian military action. /// 2ND JANOWSKI ACT /// What is going on in Chechnya is anybody's guess. Considering the amount of hardware (i.e. heavy weapons) that is being used there at the moment, from the air and from the ground and so on and so forth, there certainly are casualties. And there may be people who may be cut off from the outside world and not even having the luxury of being able to flee. /// END ACT /// Mr. Janowski calls the North Caucuses region a "no-go" area for international aid workers. No foreign aid workers are present in Chechnya and Ingushetia because of security concerns. Several humanitarian workers have been kidnapped, held hostage, and killed. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/GE/RAE 09-Nov-1999 09:30 AM EDT (09-Nov-1999 1430 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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