Refugees Flee from South Ossetia
|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||12 August 2008|
|Region||E [ Europe ]|
|Location||South Ossetia Region|
|- Number of homes|
|- Total value €|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
Source: Relief Web|
Estimated 100,000 displaced by fighting in Georgia
About 100,000 people have been uprooted from their homes because of the conflict in Georgia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Refugee and internally displaced women and children are fleeing for their lives after Russia launched a major counter-offensive in Georgia and the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. 30,000 South Ossetians have fled over the Russian border to North Ossetia, several thousand have fled to Georgia in the south and 12,000 people are estimated to be displaced within South Ossetia. The International Rescue Committee reports an estimate of 2,000 civilian casualties.
Refugees are currently sheltered in accommodation centers, such as school gymnasiums. IRC humanitarian aid programs that were stationed in the region prior to this conflict were focused on post-conflict needs in nearby Chechnya and Ingushetia provinces. Read about the IRC`s relief efforts in neighboring North Ossetia in Russia where refugees are seeking safety.
The conflict erupted when the Georgian military attempted to forcefully regain control of South Ossetia, a pro-Russian region that rebelled from Georgian rule in the 1990s. Georgia is a historic United States ally that has been pressing for NATO membership. In support of the separatist regions, Russia immediately responded by pouring troops across the border into South Ossetia and Abkhazia and bombing key cities, and continued to advance deeper into Georgia despite urging from the international community to cease. As of August 12, President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia had ordered military operations in Georgia to halt, but fighting ensues on the ground.