Scores of civilians flee fighting in central Afghanistan, UN refugee agency reports

21 September 2003

Clashes in central Afghanistan have reportedly forced some 60 families to flee, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

“Four days of fighting between two commanders erupted in Koshak valley on 26 August and restarted again earlier this month,” Maki Shinohara told the press in Kabul.

UNHCR, which is monitoring the situation, said the violence has subsided and voiced hope that the affected families would soon be able to safely return to their homes.

Instability in the area is of particular concern because of extensive violations documented by the agency. “Our return monitoring teams have collected over the past two years numerous reports of human rights abuses and harassment by the local commanders in Daikundi area,” the spokesperson said, adding that UNHCR currently does not recommend that displaced families return to certain areas because of on-going conflict or human rights abuses.

There are 220,000 internally displaced people in Afghanistan, according to the agency, which is working to address their plight.

 

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