Un Refugees Chief Urges Forced Migrants Return To Chechnya

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers backed the idea of forced migrants returning from Ingushetia to Chechnya in remarks in Ingushetia's brand new capital of Magas on Wednesday after a meeting with the southern Russian republic's leaders and Alexander Korobeinikov, deputy presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District. But he said "a safe environment needs to be in place in Chechnya" if the forced migrants are to return. Korobeinikov said that the problem of the forced migrants' homecoming from Ingushetia could only be adequately handled after constitutional order is restored in the Chechen Republic. He called on the United Nations to refocus its relief effort from Ingushetia to Chechnya, where another 210,000 forced migrants have taken refuge, adding that the plight of forced migrants of different ethnic groups in southern Russian regions of Stavropol, Northern Ossetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria have been "virtually denied attention" of international organizations.

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