Magazine article UN Chronicle

Cease-Fire for Chechnya Urged

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Cease-Fire for Chechnya Urged

Article excerpt

A call for an immediate cease fire in Chechnya --an autonomous North Caucasus republic within the Russian Federation--was made on 27 February at the UN Commission on Human Rights' session in Geneva.

In deploring "grave violations of human rights before and after the beginning of the present crisis", Commission Chairman Musa bin Hitam of Malaysia called for the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all groups of the civilian population in that area.

On 9 March, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in expressing alarm over what it called a "disproportionate use of force" by the Russian armed forces and a "massive loss of life" in Chechnya, asked for an urgent report from the Russian Federation on details of the conflict.

A consolidated inter-agency appeal, for $22.9 million over six months to provide aid to some 220,000 persons internally displaced by the emergency in Chechnya, was launched by the UN on 22 March. The multisectoral assistance was to include: bringing the internally displaced persons to reception centres; distribution of domestic items, food, shelter material, water and sanitation; immunization and provision of basic drugs; and epidemiological surveillance, medical supplies and training.

Also, a 14-member operations team of the Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) travelled to the North Caucasus on 6 February to implement a three-month assistance programme, bringing more than 72 metric tons of aid and equipment, including 9.3 metric tons of wheat flour. UNHCR had earlier delivered some 120 metric tons of humanitarian assistance destined for displaced people.

Armenia, Azerbaijan

The 12 May 1994 cease-fire in Nagorny Karabakh--a mostly Armenian-populated region in Azerbaijan--was "still largely being respected", Jan Eliasson and Valentin Lozinsky, Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), reported (S/1995/249) on 21 March. …

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