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Chechnya: sporadic fighting causes new displacement

Briefing notes

Chechnya: sporadic fighting causes new displacement

18 April 2000

Sporadic fighting across Chechnya is causing new displacement and slowing the pace of returns, even though some people, mostly women with small children, keep going back. The situation was further complicated by the closure last week for security reasons of the main highway linking Chechnya and Ingushetia. On Monday, the Russian military re-opened the highway and 350 people went back to Chechnya's Urus-Martan, Achkoy-Martan and Shali districts. At the same time, there are fresh arrivals in Ingushetia from southern areas of Chechnya. Generally, those returning are nervous about going back to Chechnya. Most families leave behind in Ingushetia at least one family member to maintain a presence there to be able to go back if they feel unsafe in Chechnya. Meanwhile, UNHCR's relief operation continues. This morning the 48th UNHCR convoy reached Nazran, bringing 19 truckloads of food.