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North Caucasus: aid delivery security concerns

Briefing notes

North Caucasus: aid delivery security concerns

10 March 2000

Although we are planning further aid deliveries to Chechnya, we have no immediate schedule for another convoy pending a review of security and other requirements. Following the first UN deliveries to Grozny on 29 February, you probably saw the reports of fighting and of Russian military casualties in the Staropromislovski district just hours after our convoy departed from the same district.

Between 7-9 March, an average of 1,500 to 1,700 internally displaced people moved daily from Chechnya to Ingushetia via the "Kavkaz-1" crossing point. Very few new arrivals were reported. Between 900 and 1,100 people returned to Chechnya from Ingushetia daily. They included, on average, between 70 and 100 people daily who said they were returning to Chechnya for good. Their destinations included Achkhoy-Martan, Urus-Martan, Samashki, Alkhan-Yurt.

UNHCR monitors say most of the IDPs in Ingushetia are in no hurry to return to Chechnya, citing insecurity and destruction of housing.

Russian authorities plan to set up a fourth IDP camp in Chechnya, in Tolstoy-Yurt, to the north of Grozny. About 25,000 IDPs are already accommodated in three other camps in Chechnya - located in Assinovskaya, Sernovodskaya and Znamensksya.

The 37th convoy of relief items left Stavropol for Nazran, Ingushetia, last night. UNHCR contributed one truck with 60 stoves and some soap; the Salvation Army contributed one truck with baby food; WFP sent 8 trucks with food items; MSF contributed one truck with jerry cans; and the Danish Refugee Council three trucks with 7,000 of winter jackets and 3,000 pairs of shoes.