The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced

By Roberta Cohen; Francis M. Deng | Go to book overview

On June 27, 1997, President Rakhmonov and UTO leader Said Abdullo Nuri signed the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Reconciliation in the presence of representatives from observer nations, including Russian president Boris Yeltsin, and organizations, including OSCE. The accord gives the UTO a 30 percent share of seats in the central government, provides amnesty for former opposition fighters, and lifts a ban on opposition mass media and UTO political parties. It also establishes a Reconciliation Commission, composed of an equal number of representatives of the current government and the UTO, which will recommend changes to the national constitution in preparation for parliamentary elections scheduled for 1998. The agreement furthermore paves the way for the completion of repatriation of refugees from strife-ridden northern Afghanistan. The accord is a hopeful sign in the midst of ongoing political uncertainty; however, as noted above, the peace process continues to face serious threats.

The United Nations, other organizations, and outside governments can do much to alleviate human suffering, promote reintegration and development, and try to persuade the Tajik government to respect international human rights standards. Beyond this, the international community must encourage the government of Tajikistan to carry out all provisions of the 1997 peace accord, including power-sharing.


Conclusions

The study of internal displacement in Tajikistan is significant both as a historical experience that offers lessons applicable to other situations and as a problem area with demonstrated potential to flare up again. The lessons the international community learned from the Tajik crisis also can be applied in its response to the continuing unrest in the country.

In comparative terms, although the Tajik civil war was intense and the resulting displacement massive, the government on the whole cooperated effectively with the international community. This stands in contrast to some displacement emergencies in which national governments may not welcome outside assistance or may even impede humanitarian intervention. The government's interest in promoting the return of IDPs and refugees, and its need to pull the displaced population away from the opposition and to demonstrate some degree of stability to gain national and international legitimacy, proved helpful in the aftermath of the war. The Tajik case demonstrates that when a national government perceives

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The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • Acronyms xiii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Notes 14
  • Chapter Two - Burundi: A Patchwork of Displacement 15
  • Conclusions 52
  • Notes 54
  • Chapter Three - Rwanda's Internally Displaced: A Conundrum within a Conundrum 57
  • Notes 89
  • Chapter Four - Liberia: A Nation Displaced 97
  • Conclusions 130
  • Epilogue: 1996-98 134
  • Notes 134
  • Chapter Five - The Sudan: Cradle of Displacement 139
  • Notes 170
  • Chapter Six - Dealing with the Displacement and Suffering Caused by Yugoslavia's Wars 175
  • Conclusion 216
  • Chapter Seven - Internal Displacement in the North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia 232
  • Conclusion 301
  • Notes 304
  • Chapter Eight Turmoil in Tajikistan: Addressing the Crisis of Internal Displacement 313
  • Conclusions 350
  • Notes 353
  • Chapter Nine Sri Lanka's Vicious Circle of Displacement 359
  • Conclusions 393
  • Notes 396
  • Chapter Ten In Search of Hope: The Plight of Displaced Columbians 399
  • Conclusions and Recommendations 433
  • Notes 440
  • Chapter Eleven Will Peru's Displaced Return? 455
  • Conclusions 486
  • Notes 494
  • About the Contributors 500
  • Index 504
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