UN refugee agency concerned over fate of Chechens who had been in now-empty camp
Last week, the agency appealed to Moscow not to go through with its plans to close the Aki Yurt camp until decent alternative shelter could be found in Ingushetia. Today agency spokesman Kris Janowski reported that only three tents remained standing, “sheltering the last handful of displaced people awaiting departure to Chechnya.”
Over the last two days, UN international field staff were not allowed to enter the camp, “under the pretext that their visit would give displaced people there false hopes,” he added.
The agency estimates that just under half of Aki Yurt’s former residents remain in Ingushetia, probably either with host families or in existing temporary settlements. “Our staff and monitors are now trying to follow up on the location and condition of those displaced Chechens,” Mr. Janowski said. “We are very concerned that they receive adequate housing and assistance for the winter.” Weather conditions have been particularly harsh, with snow, icy roads and freezing temperatures.