TITLE=U-N-H-C-R / CHECHNYA (L O)
INTRO: The U-N refugee agency, U-N-H-C-R, says it has
not received security guarantees from Russia which
would permit its aid workers to help civilians
displaced by the war in Chechnya. Lisa Schlein
reports from Geneva.
TEXT: The refugee agency says it has an emergency
team on standby in Geneva waiting for clearance to go
to the Russian city of Stavropol.
But, U-N-H-C-R spokesman Kris Janowski says the team
will not go to the northern Caucuses until it receives
guarantees of safety from the Russian government.
And, so far, he says no such guarantees have been
/// JANOWSKI ACT ONE ///
When the High Commissioner was in Moscow earlier
this month, the Russians told her they would
come up with some sort of security guarantees by
last Tuesday. Unfortunately, so far, they have
not come up with any security guarantees that
would be good enough to deploy our staff. So,
the team is there on standby, waiting to go in.
But the security guarantees are not there.
/// END ACT ///
Mr. Janowski says thousands of civilians in Chechnya
are in desperate need. He says the humanitarian
situation in neighboring Ingushetia is getting worse
every day. Ingush authorities estimate more than 225-
thousand Chechens have taken refuge there. Many are
living in railway cars and dilapidated buildings.
U-N refugee spokesman Janowski says the agency has
told Russia that aid workers are in serious danger of
being kidnapped and taken hostage in the northern
Caucuses. And, unless they are protected, aid workers
will not be able to help the many people who are in
/// JANOWSKI ACT TWO ///
Every day is frustrating. It is a major
humanitarian crisis that we have in Ingushetia,
let alone Chechnya where there is no
international aid and all we get is news on
intensifying military activity which, of course,
is taking a toll on the civilian population in
different ways. So, the primary humanitarian
concern is Chechnya, which is, essentially, in
humanitarian terms a black hole.
/// END ACT ///
Mr. Janowski says once the Russians assure its safety,
the emergency team will set up its operations in
Stavropol. He says from there the team would go to
Chechnya for periods of two to four-days to bring
assistance to the beleaguered population. (SIGNED)
30-Nov-1999 09:33 AM EDT (30-Nov-1999 1433 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list