United Nations on Friday called for the safe and voluntary return of people who have been uprooted from the recent violence in Kyrgyzstan, said a UN spokesperson here.
"We would also urge that returns should happen (foremost) to areas that humanitarian agencies have access to," UN spokesperson
Martin Nesirky told reporters here in a daily press briefing, reiterating that they should come back in a "sustainable manner", Xinhua reported
UNHCR (UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is not in a position to monitor the returns but is verifying the voluntary nature of these returns on the Kyrgyz side of the border," Nesirky said when asked about reports, which said that some people returning to Kyrgyzstan claim to have been forced back.
UNHCR has said that refugees and internally displaced persons ( IDPs) have "expressed mixed feelings" about returning since many worried for their safety and about going back to destroyed homes, Nesirky said.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (
OCHA), the situation in Kyrgyzstan is "improving, even if it is still tense and humanitarian workers are finding it difficult to reach all of those in need due to security concerns," noted Nesirky.
According to the Kyrgyz authorities, 70,000 refugees have returned so far.
Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks broke out in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on June 11, lasting several days and spreading to neighboring Jalalabad region. Official figures say 261 were killed in the clashes and more than 2,000 were injured, however, Kyrgyz leaders admit that the real death toll could be 10 times higher.