Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 15

On April 6, it was reported that Shamil Beno, currently an advisor to the pro-Moscow Chechen head of administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, had announced at a press conference in Moscow that, by September of 2001, there will be created centers for the temporary housing of Chechen forced migrants currently living in Ingushetia. These centers, Beno said, will house between 40,000 and 50,000 displaced persons. Beno also reported the results of a poll taken in one of the refugee camps in Ingushetia: 6.6 percent of those contacted had housing in Chechnya which was unharmed by the war; 30 percent had housing partially destroyed in the conflict; and 60 percent had no housing at all (Rosinformtsentr, Russian agencies, April 6). On April 11, it was announced that tent camps for returned Chechen forced migrants are to be set up in the population points of Shali, Shatoi and Itum-Kale. A representative of the Combined Group of Federal Forces noted that “at the present moment in Argun a tent camp is already prepared to accept people” (Itar-Tass, April 11).

On March 23, the distribution of hot meals came to an end at the “Bart” refugee camp in Ingushetia, and, on April 3, bread ceased to be available. At other refugee camps located in Nazran’ and Sleptsovskaya, bread supplies were halted as of April 2. A week before that, the serving of hot meals had ceased. The same situation was said to obtain in other major refugee centers in Ingushetia. “The refugees attribute the situation to the long-expressed plans of the Chechen administration to stop humanitarian aid to Ingushetia and try to force Chechens back to Chechnya” (Glasnost-Caucasus Daily News Service, April 5).