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Tajikistan: fighting persists as winter approaches

04-09-1996 News Release 96/35

As the tug-of-war over Tavildara continues and fighting in the surrounding area prompts yet more families to flee the devastation that has engulfed their homes, the ICRC is preparing for further distributions of humanitarian aid to displaced people both north and south of the conflict zone. Food is being handed out regularly for the time being, but night temperatures are starting to fall with the approach of winter: other assistance must urgently be provided before the already difficult logistical conditions are exacerbated by bad weather.

South of Tavildara, in the Darwaz region of Gorno-Badakhshan, the ICRC is awaiting delivery of clothes, shoes, blankets and mattresses for immediate distribution to some 6,000 displaced people. Stoves made in Kyrgyzstan will also be handed out, as will fuel for cooking and heating. North of Tavildara, the authorities have given ICRC delegates permission to evaluate conditions for displaced people in the uppermost reaches of the Garm valley, as far as Jirghirtal. Relief activities will now be extended to this area, in accordance with the results of initial surveys. In the south-west, ICRC surveys are being carried out in Pianj, where almost 1,000 displaced people are reported to have gathered. West of where the fighting is taking place, in the Shagnau area and further afield, in Dushanbe, food parcels are still being distributed at regular intervals to the displaced. A total of approximately 15,000 people were assisted in Tajikistan last month.