UN welcomes relocation of Uzbek refugees from border camp

7 June 2005

The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed the relocation of Uzbek asylum-seekers further into the interior of Kyrgyzstan and away from a border camp in which they had been living since violence erupted in the Uzbek town of Andijan last month.

The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed the relocation of Uzbek asylum seekers further into the interior of Kyrgyzstan and away from a border camp in which they had been living since violence erupted in the Uzbek town of Andijan last month.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the 467 residents of the makeshift camp in Barash, Kyrgyzstan were taken on Saturday to a new camp site at Sasyk, well away from the border with Uzbekistan.

“Border camps are nearly always highly problematic, insecure and a source of tension between states,” said Ekber Menemencioglu, UNHCR’s director for Central and Southwest Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. “The Kyrgyz authorities have been working closely with UNHCR on solving this situation, and we applaud their persistence in the face of varied pressures and a number of setbacks.”

Hundreds of people fled into Kyrgyzstan from Uzbekistan after the May 13 violence in Andijan between protesters and security forces. The Kyrgyz government has repeatedly reassured UNHCR it would not forcibly return the asylum-seekers, despite rumours to the contrary.

 

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