UNHCR Briefing Notes: Chechnya, Angola/Congo (DRC)
Later this week the first 4,000 displaced Chechens are expected to move to a new tented camp located next to the Severny train carriage settlement in Ingushetia. The camp was erected jointly by UNHCR and the Ingush chapter of Russia's EMERCOM relief organization. It will eventually accommodate a total of 12,000 persons. The first part of the camp will hold up to 200 large family size tents (housing up to 20 persons each). The tents are equipped with a wooden floor, gas and electricity.
Meanwhile, the Ingush government is trying to ensure that some of the makeshift settlements, where large numbers of people still reside, are also winterized. UNHCR has already contracted the International Rescue Committee to do renovation work in some 55 spontaneous settlements. EMERCOM and various international NGOs are involved in the rehabilitation too.
Since September of 1999, UNHCR has delivered 108 convoys with humanitarian assistance to the Northern Caucasus - 83 to Ingushetia, 10 to Dagestan, 9 to Chechnya, 3 to Karachevo-Cherkessia, 2 to North Ossetia and one to the Kuskay district of the Stavropol country.
2. Angola/Congo (DRC)
UNHCR staff from Kahemba in the Democratic Republic of Congo were able to conduct a two-day mission on the weekend to remote border areas and contact for the first time newly arrived Angolan refugees.
The mission to three villages in southeastern Bandundu province proceeded under heavy military escort and put the number of Angolans who have crossed to that vicinity in the past few weeks at 1,000. The estimate included information from an area that the mission was not allowed to visit by the accompanying soldiers, who cited possible encounters with UNITA rebels.
Refugees who had crossed to the DRC in the past week confirmed to UNHCR that thousands more displaced people have erected makeshift shelters in forests on the Angolan side of the border. They named dozens of small villages in Angola's border province of Lunda Norte that were abandoned by their population after clashes between UNITA and government forces at Camaxilo.
Some refugees UNHCR spoke with said they had crossed to the DRC after a month of seeking safety in the woods, and only after they were no longer able to find food. They reported that thousands of individuals continue to move out of relative safety in wooded areas at night to search for food.
Four UNHCR trucks are standing by in Kinshasa as the fuel shortage has so far allowed only three trucks with emergency aid to make the 10-day trip to Kahemba.
This document is intended for public information purposes only. It is not an official UN document.