Russia

Ingushetia Situation Report No. 12

Source
Posted
Originally published


Latest developments
1. The Head of the RF Migration Service was appointed to safeguard human rights in Chechnya;

2. Sergei Khetagurov is to become a new Head of the Federal Migration Service;

3. UNHCHR asked Moscow to allow foreign monitors into Chechnya;

4. ICRC has asked the Russian authorities for permission to visit internment camps;

5. UNHCR says Chechen refugees are afraid to return home;

6. RF Deputy group to go to Chechnya on 27 February;

7. The National Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM) announced that 70% of Russians support the continuation of the Federal offensive in Chechnya.

1. Acting President Vladimir Putin has named a special representative to respond to complaints about human rights abuses in Chechnya. Putin had appointed Vladimir Kalamanov, the head of Russia's Migration Service, to the new post. Russia has come under international pressure to respond to allegations that its soldiers have executed, raped and tortured Chechen civilians. The military denies the allegations. Kalamanov was involved in the early stages of the conflict when he had to oversee the flow of tens of thousands of refugees from Chechnya into the neighbouring region of Ingushetia and make sure his service registered the arrivals. Kalamanov is a professional diplomat who worked until 1997 as a department head in the Nationalities Ministry before being appointed as presidential representative in the North Caucasus region of North Ossetia. He became Head of the Migration Service in April 1999. The US and Nato have given a cautious welcome to Russia's appointment of a special representative to investigate human rights abuses in Chechnya. A US State Department spokesman, James Rubin, said he hoped Russia would carry out a fair investigation into claims that federal troops had been torturing civilians. Nato said it would have preferred a neutral, foreign envoy to have had the job - to ensure that any inquiry was unbiased.

2. Sergei Khetagurov, Deputy Head of the Emergencies Ministry of Russia, is to become the new head of the Federal Migration Service.

3. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Mary Robinson, has asked Moscow to allow foreign monitors into Chechnya, and to "act on mounting evidence of serious human rights violations" during the military operation. She also said that the failure of the Russian Government to respond to legitimate international worries "leads to heightened concern that allegations of human rights violations may be well-founded". Russia lashed out at Mary Robinson, saying her comments on alleged rights abuses in Chechnya were anti-Russian and one-sided.

4. The International Committee of the Red Cross has again asked the Russian authorities for permission to visit internment camps where, according to press reports, over 100,000 Chechens may be detained. The official Russian response has been that this demand will be considered as soon as security conditions allow.

5. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says displaced Chechens are increasingly afraid to go home amid reports of human rights abuses by Russian troops. UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said in Geneva that many people in camps outside the republic want to go home but fear looting, arson and beatings.

6. At a press conference in Moscow, the leader of a deputy group approved by parliament to go to Chechnya, the Chairman of the Duma Committee on Nationality Affairs, Aleksandr Tkachev (Agrarian group) said that the inter-fraction group will go to the republic on approximately 27th-9th February. The group was put together to evaluate the socio-economic situation in the republic and how the “anti-terrorist operation” in the North Caucasus is being carried out. It is comprised of deputies from every fraction and deputy group. Aleksandr Tkachev stressed that the group will, in particular, analyse how issues connected with the socio-economic settlement in “liberated” region of Chechnya are being addressed. The deputy group will be in Chechnya for two days.

7. The National Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM) presents the results of a poll of the adult population (over 18), which it held in sex, age, education, region and type of settlement groups on February 11-14, 2000. The poll covered 83 settlements of 33 regions (150 poll sites), each involving 1,600 respondents. The admissible statistical error amounts to 3.8%.

Do you think the federal troops should continue their offensive in Chechnya or should we launch talks with the Chechen leadership?

Continue the offensive
70
Begin talks with Chechen leadership
22
Difficult to say

Do you consider Maskhadov to be the legally elected president of Chechnya?

Certainly not, and rather not
57
Certainly yes, and rather yes
16
Difficult to say
27

What should the Russian side do now that Grozny has been taken?

Launch talks with Aslan Maskhadov
4
Launch talks with other, more respected Chechen leaders
12
Not talk with Chechen leaders, but restore local bodies of power by relying on the local population
41
Not talk with anyone, but appoint a military governor-general of Chechnya
30
Difficult to say
13

Distribution

DRC Emergency Assistance Project

In the period from 14/02 to 19/02, DRC made distributions of DANIDA and UNHCR winter clothing as well as UNICEF jerry cans. In spite of the fact that DRC has suspended distribution of UNICEF items in Ingushetia at the request of the latter, it was agreed that a small stock of UNICEF jerry cans, already offloaded at the DRC warehouse, to be distributed to IDPs through the DRC system of direct distribution).

Date of distribution
Location/
Settlement
Type of settlement
Number of winter boots distributed
Number of winter jackets distributed
Number of soaps distributed
Number of jerry cans distributed
14/02/2000
Karabulak
Compact settlement “Bart”
932 (DANIDA)
1188 (UNHCR)
14/02/2000
Karabulak
Compact settlement “Train Wagons”
1062 (DANIDA)
1601 (UNHCR)
15/02/2000
Nasir-Kort
Spontaneous settlement, host family IDPs
40 (DANIDA)
40 (DANIDA)
15/02/2000
Sleptsovskaya
Compact settlement “Severnij”
2399 (DANIDA)
16/02/2000
Yandare
Spontaneous settlements, host family IDPs
3446 (DANIDA)
1453 (UNHCR)
4880 (UNHCR)
17/02/2000
Verkhniy Achaluki
Spontaneous settlements, host family IDPs
1565 (DANIDA)
937 (UNHCR)
2462 (UNHCR)
832 (UNICEF)
17/02/2000
Sredni Achaluki
Spontaneous settlements;
host family IDPs
1168 (DANIDA)
628 (UNHCR)
1767 (UNHCR)
597 (UNICEF)
18/02/2000
Nizhni Achaluki
Spontaneous settlements;
host family IDPs
1135 (DANIDA)
139 (UNHCR)
1302 (UNHCR)
436 (UNICEF)
19/02/2000
Psedakh
Spontaneous settlements;
host family IDPs
4840 (DANIDA)
205 (UNHCR)
5055 (UNHCR)
TOTAL
9868
6874 (DANIDA)
2994 (UNHCR)
12910
9753 (DANIDA)
3157 (UNHCR)
15466 (UNHCR)
1865 (UNICEF)

Total number of winter clothing distributed by DRC in Ingushetia so far:

Winter coats – 59,391
Winter boots – 61,929 The consolidated cumulative table on DRC distributions is attached.

Registration

On 18/02 DRC accomplished registration of displaced population in Ingushetia. The information that has already been included into a computerized database program that presents the actual picture of displacement in the republic. The registration was funded by UNHCR and performed in close cooperation with the Ingush Migration Service and the local authorities. A total of 80 field workers, including DRC FO Nazran staff and temporarily hired personnel, took part in the registration. The database does not only show the breakdown of the IDP population by different categories, like age, sex, number of people in a family, etc., but also serves as a profitable tool for identification of the most vulnerable persons, contributes to a family reunification program.

Below is a comparative chart showing the difference between the results of the DRC registration as of 22/02/2000 and the figures of the Ingush MS as of 09/02/2000:

1 – Sunzha District; 2 – Karabulak; 3 – Nazran District; 4 – Malgobek District

Source
Sunzha
District
Karabulak
Nazran
District
Malgobek District
TOTAL
DRC registration (22/02/2000)
47,228
23,168
74,456
41,297
186,149
Ingush MS
(9/02/2000)
79,544
33,787
112,889
48,913
275,133

The registration made it possible to identify “multi-time registered IDPs”(IDPs who register themselves several times in different areas of Ingushetia possibly to receive a bigger amount of relief aid). This figure equals 23,191.

A total of 15,716 IDPs from the Prigorodny District (North Ossetia-Alania) and 5 IDPs from Daghestan were registered during the exercise.

Thus, the total number of IDPs (from Chechnya, North Ossetia and Daghestan) in Ingushetia is approximately 201,865. The figure may change a bit due to the fact that the limited number of IDPs didn’t manage to get registered. For this category of people DRC has opened a temporary registration point.

According to the DRC registration, some 25,000 IDPs from Chechnya live in spontaneous settlements (abandoned farms, offices, factories etc), and around 25,000 live in organized camps. The remaining IDPs are living with host families. Some 25% of the IDPs living with host families pay house rent while the rest are hosted freely by their Ingush hosts.

Below are some statistical information extracted from the database on IDPs from Chechnya in Ingushetia.

The male part of the IDP population from Chechnya amounts to 85,151 (45.7%), while the female part consists of 100,998 (54.3%) persons. Children 0 -16 years of age, (born from 1984-2000): boys 38,580, girls 37,875. Elderly 60+: Men 4,574, women 8,109.

According to ethnic affiliation, 171,925 persons are Chechens (92.3%), 13,328 are Ingush (7.2%), 552 Russians (0.3%) and 344 other groups (0.2%). With regard to religious affiliation, 185,768 are Muslims (99.8%), 378 are Christians (0.2%), while 3 (0.0%) are Jews.

The database includes information on certain vulnerable groups including pregnant and lactating women (2,732), infants 0-12 months (4,073), children 12-36 months (9,842), IDPs with mental/physical handicap or disease (3,431), elderly 65+ (7,379), children up to 14 without adequate family/social support (1,264) and single-parent families (2,643).

The IDP database will shortly be made available on a CD-ROM for interested agencies. DRC continues the registration of host families.

Inter Agency Issues

On 18/02 an Inter-Agency Meeting took place at DRC FO Nazran. Among the participants there were the following agencies: MSF – Holland, MSF – Belgium, Mercy Corps International (MCI), MDM, Agency for Rehabilitation and Development (ARD), Salvation Army, UNICEF, DRC.

  • MSF – B currently distributes medicine in Malgobek District.
  • MSF – H delivers drugs to clinics and hospitals and distributes hygienic kits for in the following locations: Karabulak, Sunzha District Hospital, Nazran City Clinic, Troitsky Clinic, Malgobek Central District Hospital.
  • MCI makes distributions in small settlements (e.g. Surkhahi), delivering food, clothes and footwear for children. MCI is also working in Assinovsky (Chechnya) and plan to start a project also in Achkhoi-Martan and Sernovodsk (Chechnya).
  • ARD works in camps, delivering drugs rendering psychological rehabilitation.
  • MDM continues providing medical assistance to IDPs living in 5 refugee camps.

The next Inter-Agency Meeting is to take place at DRC FO Nazran on 25/02 at 10:00am.

On 21 February, DRC’s new Moscow Representative, Ms. Maria Olsen, arrived in Moscow. Ms. Olsen will be in charge of liasing with Moscow based humanitarian agencies for DRC North Caucasus as well as DRC St. Petersburg. Until a representative office has been established in Moscow, Ms.Olsen can be contacted at tel. 8-902-6966754.

Stavropol, 23 February 2000.

For further information, please contact:

Tom Trier (8) 901 498 08 25

Zelim Yandarov (8) 901 498 08 24

ATTACHMENT

DRC distribution of UNHCR winter clothing in Ingushetia

Distribution of DANIDA funded winter clothing in Ingushetia

DRC distribution of NRC winter clothing in Ingushetia

DRC distribution of DCA funded winter clothing in Ingushetia

DRC distribution of UNICEF winter jackets, soap, laundry powder, tooth paste and jerry cans

Total number of non-food items distributed by DRC’s direct distribution system in Ingushetia so far: