A/51/483/Add.1 Addendum to Internally Displaced Persons

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Tajikistan

ANNEX Report on internally displaced persons prepared by the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Francis Deng, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/57 of 3 March 1995 and Economic and Social Council decision 1995/273 of 25 July 1995

Profiles in displacement: Tajikistan

                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   The main cause of displacement in Tajikistan has been the civil war that
took place during the second half of 1992.  More than 20,000 persons were
killed 1/ out of a population of about five and a half million. 2/  The
fighting led to the exile of approximately 100,000 persons into neighbouring
countries 3/ and the internal displacement of some 600,000. 4/  The internally
displaced population comprised mainly civilians from the south-western part of
the country in search of safety in the cities or in their ancestral homes.

2.   While displacement in Tajikistan shares common characteristics with
other conflict situations, it also demonstrates distinct features.  With the
collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which created a power
vacuum, latent conflicts erupted among different ethnic groups within the
artificial borders of states.  In Tajikistan, antagonism quickly emerged
between those wanting to preserve the current system and power structures and
those challenging the regime by advocating reforms.  The conflict was
compounded by regional differences, with ethnic and political affiliations. 
It gradually degenerated into widespread violence, perpetrated by proponents
of both sides, and escalated into civil war.  Furthermore, the acute armed
conflict resulted in massive upheavals and dislocation of populations. 
However, the armed conflict was relatively short-lived, and the Government
attached a high priority to a prompt return of civilians.  It was also willing
to accept offers of international assistance at an early stage.  Thus, the
international community was able to facilitate in a comprehensive and
effective manner the return of the displaced.  The majority of the civilians
were able to return to their home areas within a few months after their
displacement.  By March 1993, 70 per cent of the internally displaced had
returned to their villages. 5/

3.   Although most of those internally displaced by the civil war have
returned, 6/  their successful integration, as well as the return of those who
remain displaced, will depend on the extent to which Tajikistan can overcome
the challenges of economic and social reconstruction after the devastating
effects of the civil war, and progressively adapt the country to a new
political and economic environment.  Reconstruction and development, however,
cannot be fully carried out before the underlying causes of the conflict have
been addressed and resolved through peaceful means.  In this regard, it is
worth noting that the currently deteriorating security situation and recent
hostilities in some areas of Tajikistan are generating new displacements. 7/

4.   The Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced
persons initially requested to visit Tajikistan in February 1994.  He
reiterated his request in June 1995 and February 1996, at which point the
Government extended an invitation for him to visit the country.  The mission
was eventually carried out between 1 and 12 June 1996.  Besides focusing on
the current conditions of those who remain internally displaced and those who
returned after the civil war, the purpose of the mission was to study how the
return was achieved and how further displacements could be prevented.

5.   The Representative wishes to express his appreciation to the Government
of Tajikistan for having invited him to visit the country, and for the candid
and open attitude of his interlocutors.

6.   During his mission, the Representative met with the Prime Minister, the
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior, senior officials from the
Ministries of Justice and Labour, as well as with the Prosecutor-General.  He
also had meetings with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for
Tajikistan, the representatives of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), representatives of United Nations agencies and
programmes, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food
Programme (WFP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the United
Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT), and other local and
international organizations and members of the diplomatic corps.  The
Representative visited internally displaced persons in Khorog and Rushan,
located in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. 8/  He also visited
returnee sites in the capital, Dushanbe, as well as in Bokhtar, Shartuz and
Kabodian, located in the Kurgan-Tyube region of the Khatlon Oblast.  During
his visits to the provinces he was received by local government officials. 
The Representative also met with members of the opposition.

7.   The general policy of the Representative in carrying out his mandate is
based on the fundamental recognition that problems linked with internal
displacement primarily fall within the national sovereignty of the state
concerned.  At the same time, it has become recognized that sovereignty
carries with it responsibilities of protection and assistance from the state
towards its own nationals.  This combination of sovereignty and responsibility
provides the framework for a cooperative approach in which Governments are
expected to invite or at least accept international support if their own
capacity to provide protection and assistance is limited.  In this spirit, the
Representative seeks to understand the problems of internal displacement in
the country visited and make proposals for solutions.  As has been reflected
in his previous reports to the Commission on Human Rights and the General
Assembly, internal displacement often reflects a deeper crisis affecting the
larger society.  Thus, while it is important to address the problems faced by
internally displaced persons, the Representative sees that function as part of
a larger mandate to explore the root causes of the conflict in a dialogue with
the authorities and then seek durable solutions.  In addition, he considers it
important to explore ways in which the international community can best assist
the Government in the discharge of its responsibilities towards the internally
displaced.

8.   Because current initiatives in Tajikistan emphasize a reintegration of
the displaced, the mission covered a broader range of parameters than has
normally been the case in missions relating to ongoing conflict situations. 
This report is therefore divided into five main parts.  Section II contains an
overview of the crisis which generated internal displacement in Tajikistan. 
Section III discusses patterns of displacement, return and the response of the
international community.  Section IV addresses the reintegration of returned
internally displaced persons and focuses on steps the international community
has taken to promote sustainable development and the protection of human
rights, in the light of ongoing needs.  Section V describes initiatives taken
by the international community to further the peace process through
peacekeeping, political negotiations and other reconciliatory activities. 
Finally, the report concludes with some observations and recommendations.

 

via A/51/483/Add.1 Addendum to Internally Displaced Persons.

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