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31 December 2008
Узбекистан: власти отказывают в возвращении нескольким тысячам сельских жителей, перемещенным из района таджикской границы
The situation of people internally displaced in Uzbekistan cannot be reported with any conﬁdence. Because of the government’s strict control over its population and the activities of humanitarian organisations in the country, and the lack of public acknowledgement of the internal displacement situation, most information is anecdotal.
Uzbekistan’s IDPs were forcibly and, in some cases, violently relocated by the army in 2000 and 2001 on the basis of insecurity in their place of origin, following government-reported incidences of armed incursions of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) from Tajikistan. While IDPs admit that people travelled through their villages and that they sold them food, they insist there were no IMU incursions.
The mainly ethnic Tajik population of nine villages in mountainous regions of Sukhandaria Province was moved over 200 kilometres to resettlement sites in the desert of Kashkadarya Province. Problems such as limited access to water, not being able to bring their tools and animals with them and the lack of knowledge to cultivate the new land have stopped them developing livelihoods. Their harvest is usually poor and as a result they are in debt to neighbouring villagers from whom they must buy food. They have no hope of compensation although the government denies their right to return to their villages of origin.
IDPs need ofﬁcial approval to leave their current residence and resettle in a third location. They receive no government help to integrate locally, and in general the state accepts no responsibility for addressing their needs. There are no speciﬁc government bodies, laws or policies to uphold their rights.
The international community has provided very limited assistance to assist Uzbekistan’s IDPs with integration. With limited access and information, international agencies have not recently challenged the government on its treatment of IDPs.