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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid