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Ingushetia: evicted Chechens relocated

Briefing notes

Ingushetia: evicted Chechens relocated

17 August 2001

UNHCR yesterday began relocating a group of some 100 displaced persons from Chechnya who were facing eviction from the settlement where they had been living in Ingushetia. The displaced persons had been staying in a series of small industrial buildings in the town of Surkhakhi, near Nazran. After almost two years, the buildings were to be put back into use, and so the displaced persons were asked to leave. UNHCR was able to negotiate the use of an area nearby, and has co-ordinated with the local authorities to move the group. The availability of a new site close to where the group had been living means that the families can stay together and remain in the same community they have lived with for two years. UNHCR has brought in winterised tents which are being set up on the new site, and is arranging for sanitation facilities.

The group of 100 is one of the larger evictions at one time we have seen in Ingushetia. Almost daily, however, individual families are evicted from their host families, sometimes because they can no longer afford to pay rent, or because the host family is expanding and needs their rooms back. Often, evicted families are able to find other places to stay, but UNHCR tries to help negotiate with host families or find alternative accommodation, particularly in cases of elderly or other vulnerable people who have no other options. Evictions have increased over the summer months as the approximately 150,000 displaced persons from Chechnya in Ingushetia face the approach of their third winter in displacement.