Georgia: Chechens say no to repatriation

from United Nations Association of Georgia
Published on 30 Sep 2003
Chechen refugees living in the Pankisi Gorge of Georgia categorically refused to return to Chechnya, claiming there are no security guarantees.

The Russian delegation led by Minister for Chechen Affairs Stanislav Iliasov arrived in the Pankisi Gorge on September 30 to convince Chechen refugees to repatriate on a voluntary basis.

The delegation brought 20 tons of humanitarian aid consisting of warm clothes and food; however the refugees refused to receive the Russian humanitarian aid.

"We do not trust them [Russian authorities]. They need us only to score points on the eve of the elections. We will not return until the Russian troops are withdrawn from Chechnya," one of the Chechen refugees told Civil Georgia on September 30.

This is the second unsuccessful visit of the Russian delegation to the Pankisi Gorge. The first one was paid in early September.

Up to 3,700 Chechen refugees, who fled the second Chechen war in 1999, live in the Pankisi Gorge presently.

United Nations Association of Georgia:
© UNA-Georgia