UNHCR estimates 75,000 still displaced in Kyrgyzstan

16th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The UN refugees agency said Friday that some 75,000 people remain displaced in southern Kyrgyzstan a month after deadly inter-ethnic riots broke out.

"Today, the number of displaced persons still requiring help with shelter is 75,000 -- this includes people either afraid to return or unable to do so because their homes have been destroyed," said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman at the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Thousands continue to be affected by uncertain security, problems arising from the wide loss of personal documents, and a shortage of shelter."

Fleming pointed out that people who had lost their documents in the riots were also having problems applying for new ones.

"Such problems are widespread," said the UNHCR spokeswoman.

The issue of missing documents is exacerbated as police are regularly asking for identification papers at the numerous checkpoints across Osh and Jalalabad -- the flashpoints of June's conflict, both of which remain under night-time curfew.

The UNHCR said that at the peak of the crisis, some 400,000 people were affected.

Officials have said up to 2,000 people may have been killed in the clashes between majority Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks in the southern Kyrgyzstan regions of Osh and Jalalabad.

© 2010 AFP

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