10,000 Plus Afghan Women And Children At Risk Of Death On Tajikistan Border
More than 10,000 Afghan women and children who have fled fighting inside Afghanistan and the Taliban’s military advancements, which now control almost 95% of the country, are in makeshift camps along the Pyandi River in the midst of winter. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed grave concern over increasingly poor conditions for the refugees citing “diarrhea, dysentery, and other illness” due to poor shelter, lack of access to clean water, and security for their safety. UNHCR has appealed to Tajikistan to allow fleeing Afghans to seek refuge in the country since the mass displacement of thousands following the Taliban’s capture of Taloqan. More than 100,000 ethnic minorities were reported to have fled Taloqan because of fears of ethnic cleansing by the extremist regime. In September 2000, the same month of the capture of Taloqan, Tajikistan officially closed its borders to Afghanistan and in turn sealed a dismal fate for thousands of refugee women and children.
Media Resources: UN Wire Alert -03 January 2001, BBC News -03 January 2001, Feminist Majority Take Action Afghan Refugee Crisis: Urge US to Help http://www.feminist.org/action/1_action.html