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Tajikistan: tens of thousands of civilians in danger

27-06-1996 News Release 96/25

The fighting between Tajik government forces and the opposition is continuing to affect tens of thousands of civilians in Tajikistan. Some 3,000 newly displaced people from Tavildara and Mionadu arrived in Kalaikum and Komsomolobad on 22 and 23 June, hungry and exhausted after their long journey through the Pamir mountains. Since the beginning of the year almost 15,000 people have been forced to flee their home areas where conditions are deteriorating by the day.

According to the displaced people themselves, some 25,000 civilians are in imminent danger. Fierce fighting has cut off access for more than two months to territory occupied by the opposition, preventing any supplies from getting into this region, which is extremely poor at the best of times.

Since hostilities resumed early this year, the ICRC has been waiting for the Dushanbe authorities to give its delegates permission to enter this area in order to assess urgent needs and set up an assistance programme. Meanwhile, in coordination with other humanitarian agencies it is distributing food to 5,000 newly displaced persons, a figure which is likely to increase if there is no improvement in the situation.