The Trauma of Ongoing War in Chechnya
A decade of intense conflict continues to devastate people in and around Chechnya. Despite repeated claims from officials that the situation is 'normalizing,' Chechnya is far from peaceful and stable. Even so, since 2003, Russian and Ingush authorities have put considerable pressure on internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ingushetia to return to the war-wreaked region. By the end of 2004, only 45,000 people who fled the conflict, out of an original 260,000, remain in Ingushetia and are living in terrible conditions, while those pressured to return to Chechnya have been placed in "Temporary Accommodation Centers," where conditions are not much better. Almost all of the 539 people interviewed for a study by MSF last year had been exposed to crossfire, aerial bombardments, and mortar fire. More than one in five had seen killings, and nearly half had seen family members assaulted. About 90 percent of people in the Chechen camps and 80 percent in Ingushetia had had someone close to them die from war-related violence, while more than a third of people in Ingushetia and two-thirds in Chechnya felt unsafe. It is common for friends and neighbors to be arrested or simply "disappear" on both sides of the border. As authorities look poised to continue their policy of moving people against their will, from one inadequate and insecure location to another, the plight of people trapped in this nightmare remains largely ignored.
Read more about Chechnya here – http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/northcaucasus.cfm
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) – http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org – is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.