Chechen refugee movements
GENEVA, July 26 (UNHCR) - The number of people leaving the ravaged Russian republic of Chechnya continues to outnumber people going home, UNHCR monitors reported Thursday. In the first two weeks of July, an estimated 1,000 people arrived in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia while only 300 returned. This compared to 1,000 arrivals and 500 returns in June and 950 arrivals and 400 returns in May.
An estimated 150,000 displaced Chechens are registered in Ingushetia and the new arrivals cite insecurity and fear of arbitrary arrest as reasons for their continued exodus. In Ingushetia, displaced persons - 70 percent of whom live with host families - said they faced the continuing threat of eviction. In June, 185 persons were thrown out and hundreds more threatened with eviction. In such circumstances, UNHCR either tries to resolve differences or identifies alternative accommodation. Officials said the eviction trend was particularly worrying because some people returning to Chechnya cited this problem as a reason for going back, despite continuing security threats.