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High Commissioner's Chechnya concerns

Briefing notes

High Commissioner's Chechnya concerns

26 October 1999

The High Commissioner Sadako Ogata is concerned about reports of civilian casualties resulting from the Russian military crackdown in Chechnya where there is virtually no international humanitarian presence. She is also extremely concerned about the closure by the Russian forces of the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. The move has trapped tens of thousands of people inside Chechnya after their main escape route was cut last Saturday. That escape route had been used by more than 175,000 people before the border was closed. We have voiced our concern to the Russian government which tells us that the closure of the border is a temporary measure.