Uzbekistan + 1 more

Romania: IOM airlifts Uzbek refugees

A group of Uzbek refugees who fled to Kyrgyzstan following an uprising in the Uzbek city of Andijan in May arrived this morning in Romania.

The 439 refugees boarded an IOM chartered plane in Bishkek in the early hours of 29 July for a seven-hour flight to the western Romanian town of Timisoara.

Upon arrival, they were met by representatives of Romania's National Refugee Office, UNHCR and IOM staff before they were transferred onboard IOM buses to a nearby transit facility for immigration and asylum processing.

The refugees were airlifted by UNHCR from Jalal-Abad and Osh in Western Kyrgyzstan to the capital Bishkek on Wednesday and Thursday.

Prior to their departure, IOM carried out pre-embarkation medical checks to ensure all were fit to travel.

The refugees fled to Kyrgyzstan following the 12-13 May events in Andijan in Uzbekistan. Over the past weeks, UNHCR has worked closely with the Kyrgyz authorities conducting refugee status determination for the group.

The group will remain in transit in Romania until they are accepted for resettlement in other countries.

This operation is funded by IOM's Rapid Response Transportation Fund, which was established in 2000 by IOM and UNHCR to respond to emergency situations requiring the rapid organisation of transport for people at risk.

For further information, please contact Jean Philippe Chauzy, IOM Geneva, Tel: + 41 79 285 4366 Email: