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161200ZMAY07 CJ3 JEC C) AFGHAN REFUGEES: UPDATE ON REPATRIATIONS AND CAMP CLOSURES: (Source: AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 02197, 16 May 07)
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(C) AFGHAN REFUGEES: UPDATE ON REPATRIATIONS AND CAMP CLOSURES: (Source: AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 02197, 16 May 07) Almost 206,000 undocumented Afghans took advantage of UNHCR assistance to depart Pakistan in a six-week "grace period" in March and April, depleting UNHCR''s repatriation and relocation budget. Since then, returns from Pakistan have fallen off sharply. Pakistan''s Frontier Corps, a Pashtun security force stationed along the western border with Afghanistan, recently established a presence in two refugee camps to enhance security and monitor camp activity. Pakistani authorities are meeting with camp elders to encourage more returns. For the time being, however, refugees'' refusal to leave is stalling camp closures that should already be underway.