HL Deb 16 March 1995 vol 562 cc51-2WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What attempts have been made to verify systematically the estimates of the numbers of refugees from Abkhazia in Georgia and elsewhere and of these the number wishing to return if their security can be guaranteed.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey:

No reliable estimates exist of the number of ethnic Georgians who have fled the secessionist region of Abkhazia into Georgia or elsewhere. UNHCR do not consider them as refugees but as internally displaced persons. The Georgian Government estimate that there are some 250,000 such persons in Georgia and that all are ready to return. It has proved impossible to verify this. UNHCR report that some 25,000 have returned spontaneously.