News / Asia

    Thousands of Uzbek Refugees Return Home

    United Nations aid agencies report tens of thousands of Uzbek refugees are returning to the homes they fled after ethnic clashes broke out in Kyrgyzstan earlier this month.  In light of these large returns, U.N. agencies say they are revising their assistance operations.

    The refugee exodus from Uzbekistan is happening so quickly that accurate numbers are difficult to get.  So, U.N. agencies are relying upon figures supplied by the Kyrgyzs authorities.  They report 70,000 Uzbek refugees have returned so far.

    At the same time Uzbek refugees are returning, U.N. refugee spokesman, Adrian Edwards, notes many internally displaced people in Kyrgyzstan also are going back to the homes they fled during the peak of the fighting.

    "Both refugees and IDPs [internally displaced persons] have expressed to us mixed feelings about going home," he said. "Although people do want to be reunited with their families, many are worried for their safety and about going back to destroyed, damaged or looted properties.  We are concerned about the voluntary nature of returns in some cases.  UNHCR's view, and we have stated this before, is that where people are returning, they should be able to do so on an informed basis and in conditions of safety, voluntariness and sustainability."  

    Edwards says the UNHCR is concerned returnees who find their homes have been badly damaged or destroyed might be on the move again and join the ranks of the internally displaced.

    He says many people are moving in with families in their former neighborhoods.  He says conditions are crowded and there is an urgent need to further increase assistance.

    The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance or OCHA says the situation is evolving quickly.

    While more and more refugees are returning to Kyrgyzstan, OCHA spokeswoman, Elizabeth Byrs, says this does not mean the emergency is over.

    She says the situation of internally displaced people remains acute and so do the needs. "There are needs of food, hygiene, shelter, medication, food for babies," she said.  "All the relief items you need when you have left everything, when your houses have been burned, when you have nothing and some members of the family have maybe disappeared.  So, it is still a dire situation and the situation is calm but tense."  

    On Thursday, human rights group Amnesty International said it has anecdotal evidence that some refugees were forced onto buses to Kyrgyzstan.

    This was done, the group said, by refugee camp guards and Uzbek security forces.

    Amnesty International said it believes that the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan is still volatile because the Kyrgyzstani government does not have the confidence of the Uzbek population that they will be protected from renewed violent attacks.

    You May Like

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Will New Russian Force Be 'Putin’s Personal Army'?

    With broad powers to control riots, suppress dissent, National Guard may be aimed at sending a message to West as much as keeping peace at home

    Foreign Media in Pyongyang Barred From North Korean Party Congress

    Hundreds of international journalists invited to cover historic party meeting barred from entering actual event

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora