January 7, 2011 Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture
desk study on “The use of medical evidence
and expert opinions in international and
regional judicial mechanism and in selected
domestic jurisdictions” aims to provide an
insight into how medical evidence is viewed
and evaluated in court proceedings on alleged
torture cases today. The study looks
into the procedural rules as well as the
practice relating to evaluation of medical
evidence and expert opinions by the relevant
tribunals. The special issue further features
studies on investigations and evidence collection
in selected domestic jurisdictions
in torture cases. These studies have been
conducted in five countries from different
regions and with differing legal systems –
Ecuador, Georgia, Lebanon, The Philippines
and Uganda. In these countries the IRCT
has, for a number of years, worked with
local members and partners to promote the
value and use of medical documentation of
Our hope is that the study may serve
as a reference document for those involved
in legal cases seeking to prove allegations
of torture through the submission of medical
evidence or wishing to advocate legal
changes in this area....
May 31, 2010 Caucasian Review of International Affairs
After the Russia-Georgia war, tensions grew in the relationship between Russia and the West. These tensions have occasionally led some to argue that a New Cold War may be on the horizon between Russia and the West. Others have even claimed that the Old Cold War has not really ended. This work investigates such arguments by examining Western ties to Georgia, Russia’s power resurgence, and Georgia’s role in that war. The authors claim that those, who interpret the Russia-Georgia war within a Cold War paradigm, neglect the complexities of that conflict. During similar conflicts, the Cold War is an easily comprehendible and adoptable paradigm for the West, particularly the US. Adopting a Cold War perspective, however, ignores that Tbilisi had a significant role to play in defining the 2008 war. Russia versus West tensions can no longer be characterized by the ideological rivalries of the Cold War. Moreover, the Russia-Georgia war appears to indicate a return to older forms of international rivalry....
This article concentrates on the response of NATO to Russia's military action against Georgia and the subsequent consequences for Moscow's relationship with the Western alliance. Finally, some thoughts will be given on how NATO might proceed in cooperating with Russia in the years ahead. After days of shooting incidents between the de facto South Ossetian armed groupings and the Georgian armed forces, in the late evening of Thursday 7 August 2008 Georgina President Saakashvili ordered his troops to return law and order and Tbilisi's rule in the rebellious province of South Ossetia. Considering the speed with which the armed forces of Georgia and Russia brought in troops, it was clear that both parties had prepared for an armed clash. Moscow sent reinforcements to South Ossetia but also to Abkhazia, and responded fire. Russia's air force carried out attacks on targets in Georgia proper - i.e. outside Abkhazia and South Ossetia - and its Black Sea Fleet started a maritime blockade of Georgian port. ON 11 August Russian forces invaded Georgia proper from mSouth Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Georgian armed forces were no match for the Russian superiority in troops and arms, and were forced to withdraw around Tbilisi....
January 29, 2010 Danish Institute for International Studies
Does the conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 really stands for a turning-point as often argued, and if so what has changed and with what consequences? Has the Caucasus conflict been of a ground-breaking importance with power politics back on the agenda, or has it rather stood out as a minor incident and an unintended conflict soon to fade into oblivion? In order to pass judgment on such questions and to arrest some of the more profound dynamics of the discourse waged, an interpretative frame is developed and utilized in probing the subject-positions of the European Union, the United States and Russia in the context of the debate. The paper argues that rather than being a turning-point the conflict has been conducive to the emergence of a meeting-point particularly in the sphere of US-Russia relations whereas the EU is experiencing considerable difficulties in trying to stay in tune with the more general outcome of rapprochement. The conflict indeed shook the world, but it did so in an unexpected manner and the reverberations still continue to unfold....
In the aftermath of the 2008 Georgian war, President Dmitri
Medvedev, setting out Russia's foreign policy principles, spoke about the
country’s spheres of "privileged interests" and the government’s obligation to
defend Russian citizens abroad. Coming less than a month after Russia's armed
response to Georgia's attack on its breakaway province of South Ossetia, where
most residents had been provided with Russian passports, this statement
produced a shock. It sounded as if Moscow was reclaiming the Soviet
geopolitical legacy of Russia's spheres of influence and was prepared to
intervene with force in countries with significant ethnic Russian minorities.
The talk of Russian assertiveness, making rounds since the mid-2000s, was
substantially enhanced by accusations of Russia's outright aggressive behavior.
The year that followed has seen an unprecedented global financial and
economic crisis, a new administration in Washington, and a decrease in tensions
between Russia and the United States. The issues that had produced a near
confrontation between the twosuch as the United States' single-minded
support for President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia; Russia's actions in
Abkhazia and South Ossetia; NATO's membership action plans (MAPs) to
Georgia and Ukraine; and plans to install U.S. ballistic missile defenses in the
Czech Republic and Polandwhile not completely off the table, are now clearly
on the backburner....
Since the Rose Revolution of 2003, Georgia has implemented perhaps the most ambitious economic reform program of all formerly socialist countries. Years of high growth have been transforming it into an economic success story. But beginning last year the country suffered a war with Russia, partial occupation and secession of part of its territory, and the effects of the global economic crisis. Kakha Bendukidze will explain the economic policies that Georgia is undertaking to confront that adversity. David Bakradze will discuss the country’s move toward greater democratization, including in the areas of free speech and a greater role for parliament in national decision making and presidential accountability....
Crisis Group has produced a multimedia presentation on the August 2008 Georgia-Russia conflict, featuring an interview with Europe Program Director Sabine Freizer, a timeline of the crisis, and historical background.
December 6, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles:
- AQAP’s Soft Power Strategy in Yemen
- Developing Policy Options for the
AQAP Threat in Yemen
- The Role of Non-Violent Islamists
- The Evolution of Iran’s Special
Groups in Iraq
- Fragmentation in the North Caucasus
- Assessing the Success of Leadership
- Revolution Muslim:
Downfall or Respite?
February 16, 2010 Forced Migration Review // University of Oxford // Refugee Studies Centre
The striking fact that for the first time in human history there are now more people living in towns and cities than outside them is not in itself a reason for FMR to be covering urban displacement. Behind that fact, however, lies the multiplicity of reasons why people have been moving into urban environments and the reality that for many of them it is not a matter of choice.
In their introductory articles in this issue of FMR, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka emphasise the complexity of the challenges faced by those displaced into urban areas and by those seeking to protect and assist them, and argue for the need for a radical rethinking of approaches. The articles that follow address some of the practical and policy issues that urban displaced people face and that affect providers too. They also reflect the diversity of analysis and geography that is to be expected given the global nature of urbanisation....
Turkey holds the presidency of the Council in June.
An open debate on protection of civilians is planned late in the month. There is also a possibility of another open debate on peacekeeping with a particular focus on troop contributing countries late in the month (this has not been confirmed at press time).
Debates are likely on Kosovo, with the participation of representatives of Serbia and Kosovo, and on Iraq, with the likely participation of the country’s representative.
Formal meetings to adopt resolutions renewing mandates of operations in the Golan Heights (UNDOF) and in Georgia (resolution 1866) are expected.
The Council is likely to receive several briefings in June:
A briefing on Sudan by John Holmes, the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, originally scheduled in May but postponed.
The monthly Middle East briefing may be conducted in June by Tony Blair, the Quartet Special Envoy (at press time this has not been confirmed).
Early in the month, the Council will be briefed by the presidents and prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR) on the completion strategies for each tribunal.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is also expected to brief the Council.
The Chair of the Liberia Sanctions Committee.
The Chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee.
The head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA).
The Council is likely to receive briefings on:
Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL);
Burundi (BINUB); and
The Council will also discuss:
Central African Republic (BONUCA); and
the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED)....
The size and scope of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has dwindled since the height of the invasion in 2003. Britain, the largest member of the coalition after the United States, recently announced plans to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq in the months ahead and to shift their combat role to support and training. U.S. and British officials say this partial withdrawal is a positive sign because security is improving in parts of the south, where coalition forces are primarily stationed, and where Iraqi forces are increasingly "stepping up." The shrinking of the coalition coincides with a surge of U.S. forces deployed to Anbar and Baghdad provinces but may complicate efforts to eventually redeploy from Iraq....
In the five years since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has solidified a trend of supplying high technology weapons and millions of dollars in military assistance to allies in the "war on terror." Support for the United States - either in its quest to stamp out international terrorist networks, or for its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - seems to take precedence over other criteria usually taken into account when the United States considers an arms transfer. According to standing tenets of U.S. arms export policy, arms transfers should not undermine long-term security and stability, weaken democratic movements, support military coups, escalate arms races, exacerbate ongoing conflicts, cause arms build-ups in unstable regions, or be used to commit human rights abuses. However, in the last five years, the Bush administration has demonstrated a willingness to provide weapons and military training to weak and failing states and countries that have been repeatedly criticized by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations, lack of democracy, and even support of terrorism. To thoroughly evaluate and analyze this trend of increased military assistance, the Challenging Conventional Threats project at CDI has, since 2001, profiled countries that have a unique role in the "war on terror," through the strategic services they have provided to the United States as it conducts anti-terror operations across the globe. The series features analysis of the current political situations in the profiled countries, taking into account other indicators of the relative stability and openness of the country, such as military expenditures, total number of armed forces, and the human rights situation as assessed by the U.S. State Department, alongside an evaluation of U.S. military assistance to these countries over the past 17 years - the post-Cold War years....
December 18, 2006 Inventory of Conflict and Environment
The South Ossetians of Georgia have been in conflict with the Georgian government since just before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's. Between 1918 and 1920, the first overtures to South Ossetian independence were made during a series of Ossetian rebellions against the first Georgian Republic. Once Georgia came under Soviet rule in 1923, and for the remainder of Soviet rule, there was peace between the two groups. Major violent conflict erupted again, however, between Ossetian separatist guerillas and Georgian troops in the early 1990's, and then once more in 2004. The basic domestic and international issues surrounding the conflict are the South Ossetians' claims of unequal treatment under Georgian rule and subsequent demands for cultural, social, economic and political protections as a minority group, Russia's desire to punish Georgia for its increasingly pro-Western political orientation, and outside concerns about the stability and accessibility of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline running partly through Georgia. However, at the conflict's most basic level, it is a conflict over land and t#erritory. Georgia wants to maintain its territorial integrity and thus prevent the region of South Ossetia from seceding, while South Ossetia wants to either establish independence or join with North Ossetia and come under Russian rule. In essence, my research will consider the history of relations between the Georgians, Russians and Ossetians, the ethnic/cultural differences, the current interests/motivations of all sides, and the prospects for settling the dispute over the land....
Relations between Russia and Georgia have often been fraught since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The worst problems have usually been related to regional conflicts - the frozen conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the ongoing guerrilla war in Chechnya. More generally, many Georgians accuse Russia of imperialism, while Russia criticises Georgia for nationalism and pursuing an anti-Russian foreign policy.
September 12, 2008 UN Institute for Training and Research Operational Satellite Applications Programme
This overview map presents a satellite-based damage assessment for the port city of Poti, Georgia following the armed conflict between Georgian and Russian military forces in August 2008. Damaged vessels have been identified with QuickBird satellite imagery acquired on 25 August 2008 at a spatial resolution of 60cm. A total of 6 Georgian naval vessels within the mapped extent of Poti have been identified as either partially or completely submerged in the Gavan Novyy section of the port. No other damage to physical infrastructure or vessel-related oil spills were detected. Please note, this is an initial damage assessment and damage sites have not been independently verified on the ground....
Given the vitriolic exchanges between Tbilisi and Moscow at the outset, the conclusion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s military exercises in Georgia was somewhat of an anti-climax.
The May 6-June 3 NATO exercises concluded with a simulation of how the world would respond to a conflict between the fictitious countries of Emerald and Onyx on make-believe Jewelry Island. NATO trainers maintain the scenario had no association with Georgia’s 2008 war with Russia. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
Georgian Defense Ministry representatives did not respond to written questions about the exercises’ significance for Georgia in time for publication. Georgian Defense Minister Davit Sikharulidze is currently on a trip to Washington, DC.
Influential Russian political scientist Alexander Dugin, a reported confidante of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, had already delivered one interpretation from Moscow, however. Emboldened by NATO’s backing, Georgia may now attempt to bring breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia back into its fold, Dugin told RTVi television in a recent interview. In response, Dugin advised, Moscow should pick up where it left off last year, and "wipe [the Georgian government] off the face of earth."...
May 8, 2009 The Jamestown Foundation // Eurasia Daily Monitor
The situation in Georgia appears to be deteriorating rapidly. Last month the Georgian opposition parties began street protests in an effort to force President Mikhail Saakashvili to resign. Since April 9 massive rallies by opposition supporters failed to compel Saakashvili to yield, and the number of demonstrators steadily decreased. Western diplomats repeatedly urged the Georgian opposition to begin a political dialogue with the authorities, but without any results, as the radical opposition continued to demand Saakashvili's unconditional resignation (www.civil.ge, April 28).
The stand-off continued without any serious violence until this week, when the Georgian authorities announced that they had thwarted a military coup. The Georgian Interior Ministry said that those involved in the plot had received money from Russia and were planning to disrupt the NATO military exercises, which began in Georgia on May 6 (Novosti-Gruzia, May 5). The mutiny occurred at a tank base at Mukhrovani -some 30 kilometers east of the capital Tbilisi. The rebels at Mukhrovani were surrounded by Interior Ministry Special units, with army artillery and armor, and Saakashvili arrived at the scene in a theatrical showdown -giving the rebels one hour to surrender, which they did without firing a shot. The rebel officers were arrested, while privates were disarmed. Saakashvili specifically praised the Georgian army artillery officers, who in his words not only surrounded the rebels with guns, but were also prepared to open fire and that their dedication facilitated the early capitulation (www.civil.ge, May 6)....
Russia and NATO have been trying to "reset" their relations in parallel with the ongoing reconciliation between Washington and Moscow. Although progress along these lines has occurred, Russia-NATO differences over Georgia remain a major impediment. Belying Moscow's hopes that the new American administration and other NATO members might reduce support for the current Georgian government in order to secure Russian assistance regarding Afghanistan, Iran, and other issues, the alliance appears unwilling to abandon Tbilisi despite Russian threats and inducements.
NATO's decision to conduct a major military exercise, "Cooperative Longbow/Lancer-09," in Georgia from May 6 through June 1 has reignited the dispute. The drill will occur under the auspices of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PFP) program, which since 1994 has organized a series of joint defense-related activities, including military exercises, between NATO members and partner nations. Russian officials are threatening to boycott a May 7 meeting between Russian and NATO military commanders, the first since last summer, if the exercises take place.
Cooperative Longbow/Lancer-09 aims to improve interoperability among the participating militaries. Approximately 1,300 military personnel from 20 NATO member and partner countries are scheduled to take part in the two-part exercise. Cooperative Longbow-09 is a command post exercise, typically done by computer and other electronic means, involving approximately 650 military personnel. It aims to rehearse integrated staff work for large-scale crisis response actions by simulating support for a U.N.-mandated, NATO-led operation involving a multinational brigade. Cooperative Lancer-09, which will occur from May 18 to June 1, will involve field training by some 450 troops operating at the battalion level. Both stages will take place at Georgia's Vaziani military base, located 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Tbilisi....
March 5, 2009 Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Officials urging displaced to go home, but they say their villages remain dangerous. Refugees from the August war with Russia say they are being pressured into returning home, despite being concerned for their own safety.
Officials say the villages are now safe and that return is voluntary, but refugees, who had been living in temporary accommodation near the capital, say they have been denied food aid, and told they can only receive more at home.
The war, when Russian troops pushed Georgian forces out of the rebel enclave of South Ossetia, left around 130,000 Georgians displaced. While many of them have returned to their homes voluntarily, 24,000 people are still sheltering elsewhere.
The government has built houses and supplied food for many of them, but others say they have been pressured to go back to their home villages, which the government has labelled as “due for repopulation”....
November 21, 2008 American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The New York Times has done it; so, recently, have European cease-fire monitors, the BBC and NPR. They, along with a host of other investigators, have looked once again into the events surrounding the Georgian incursion into South Ossetia on August 7, the incident that led to the massive Russian invasion of Georgia on August 8.
Their most important conclusion? Georgia started it and killed civilians in the process. My conclusion? We knew that already. We also knew, and have known for some time, that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is susceptible to extreme bouts of criminal foolhardiness. A year ago this month, he attacked demonstrators in Tbilisi with riot police, arrested opposition leaders and even smashed up a Rupert Murdoch-owned television station--possibly not, I wrote at the time, the best way to attract positive international media coverage. I'm told that Saakashvili--who did indeed overthrow the corrupt Soviet nomenklatura that ran his country--has many virtues. But caution, coolheadedness, respect for civilian lives and democratic norms are not among them.
Though Russia did not invade Georgia's capital, I have no doubt that their intention was to prove that they could have done so if they had wanted to--and that next time they will.
We knew that about him--and so did the Russians. That was why they spent much of the previous year taunting and teasing the Georgians, shooting down their planes, firing on their police officers, attacking their villages, all in an attempt to create a casus belli, either in South Ossetia or in Abkhazia, another Russian-dominated, semi-autonomous mini-enclave inside the Georgian territory. And when Saakashvili did what they were hoping he'd do, they were ready....
The South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) was launched on 08 May 2002 in Belgrade. SEESAC is a component of the Regional Implementation Plan on Combating the Proliferations of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) formulated and adopted by the Stability Pact in November 2001(Revised in 2006), with the aims of stopping the flow and availability of SALW in the region, consolidating achievements so far and supporting the socio-economic conditions for peace and development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. The uncontrolled proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a serious problem in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. SALW proliferation has fuelled crime and insecurity, exacerbating conflict in the region and undermining post conflict peace-building. Problems related to SALW are likely to pose a serious constraint to economic and social development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. Established in co-operation with the UNDP and housed in their offices in Belgrade, SEESAC worked to support the Stability Pact Regional Implementation Plan for an initial period of three years; the impact of the project has led to a further four-year extension until December 2008. Political and strategic guidance and indigenous support for SEESAC is provided by a Regional Steering Group (RSG), which is composed of representatives of the governments of the states concerned, the Stability Pact, UNDP and observers from institutions such as the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and civil society. The RSG meets twice yearly and has approved the 2006 SEESAC Strategy and a revision of the SEESAC mandate. SEESAC capability is now available to all stakeholders within the CIS and Caucasus region. SEESAC is now also available to provide technical advice and project development assistance for the disposal of heavy weapons (within available resources). SEESAC operates under the guidance of The Regional Steering Group for Small Arms and Light Weapons and the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Belgrade. SEESAC liaises directly with governments and civil society, providing technical input, information exchange, co-ordination and overview of current and future efforts and fund-raising assistance for specific SALW projects. SEESAC's small team is in constant communication with all the governments involved and with the relevant international organisations, non-governmental organisations and bi-lateral donors. SEESAC's regional activities include sensitising governments and civil society on small arms issues, formulating national strategies for SALW control and incorporating small arms issues into UNDP development planning....
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation supports women in regions affected by war and armed conflicts. This support is needed not only during the heat of battle but also in the difficult work of building peace. The Foundation is active in the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus and is involved on site to support women's organisations working to strengthen women's psychological and physical health, enhance their self-esteem and ability to participate as a force in the building of a democratic society.
Kvinna till Kvinna Foundations is convinced that sustainable peace can only be built by people living in the areas concerned. This is why the foundation always cooperates with local women's organisations that work without consideration of ethnic, national or religious boundaries. They generate projects themselves on the basis of the needs in their society. The role of Kvinna till Kvinna is to provide financial support, assistance and advice in the development of these organisations. In Sweden, the Foundation talks about the effects of war and the important role of women in the work of constructing new, democratic societies. In 2002, the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation was awarded The Right Livelihood Award....
Charity Humanitarian Center "Abkhazeti" (CHCA), established in 1995, is the Georgian, non-Governmental, non-profit organization, striving to increase the role of individuals and communities in building civil society and strengthening democracy, to improve the social and economical conditions of internally displaced and other vulnerable populations through building capacity and increasing self-reliance. The activities of the organization are carried out transparently, and are based on the principles of professionalism, equality, long-term partnership and sustainable development....
December 19, 2006 Central Eurasia Project // Open Society Institute
EurasiaNet provides information and analysis about political, economic, environmental and social developments in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as in Russia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. The web site also offers additional features, including newsmaker interviews a#nd book reviews. Based in New York, EurasiaNet advocates open and informed discussion of issues that concern countries in the region. The web site presents a variety of perspectives on contemporary developments, utilizing a network of correspondents based both in the West and in the region. The aim of EurasiaNet is to promote informed decision making among policy makers, as well as broadening interest in the region among the general public. EurasiaNet is operated by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute. EurasiaNet offers daily news under Today's Wires which consolidates of news and information from outside sources, including the British Broadcasting System, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty and Interfax. Every day, reports from these and other news services are also posted on the Resource Pages of all the countries in the region; Regional Datebook keeps you ahead of the curve on upcoming events throughout the Caucasus and Central Asia. EurasiaNet has seven different departments that feature original content on political, economic, social, cultural and environmental developments through an extensive network of contributors providing material that keeps readers on top of regional developments. The departments include: Eurasia Insight: Analytical articles on current events that place emphasis on anticipating future developments; Business and Economics: Articles geared towards closely examining deals and trends and their possible impact on economic development; Q&A; & Recaps : Interviews with news makers and opinion shapers on regional issues; Civil Society: Covering environment, human rights and culture thoroughout the region; Resource Pages provide comprehensive data and links to other news sources on the web. EurasiaNet also features a variety of other resources as well. Indeed, EurasiaNet is perhaps the most comprehensive source for news and information about the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia found anywhere on the World Wide Web.
Youth movements played a critical role in the recent wave of revolutions in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine and -- to a lesser extent -- in Kyrgyzstan. New youth groups are appearing in Russia and Central Asia, much to the dismay of leaders there. "The Power of Youth" is an ongoing RFE/RL project that will look at how youth movements are born, mature, and make the transition to the postrevolutionary setting or endure under repression..
Building strong socio-economic foundations and promoting economic development is one of the major elements of strategic peacebuilding. Since 1999 International Alert has been working with business people from both conflict zones and multinational corporations to help them contribute to the creation of a stable political climate.
Three years after their August 2008 war over the South Ossetia region, tension is growing again between Russia and Georgia, and talks are needed to restore stability and create positive momentum in a situation that is fragile and potentially explosive. Diplomatic relations are suspended, and the two have only started limited negotiations, with Swiss mediation, on Russia’s World Trade Organisation membership. Yet, they share interests in improving regional security, trade and transport and should start discussions on these rather than continuing to exchange hostile rhetoric that only makes renewed dialogue more difficult.
Lack of contact has increased distrust since the fighting ended. For Georgia, Russia is an occupier who is undermining its sovereignty and security. While almost the entire international community regards South Ossetia and Abkhazia as parts of sovereign Georgia, Russia recognised both as independent shortly after the war. Moscow maintains an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 combat, security, and border forces in those two territories and is building and refurbishing permanent military bases there, in violation of the ceasefire brokered by the EU presidency in 2008. Some 20,000 persons displaced that year have been prevented from returning home, and casualties still occur along the administrative border lines....
The Georgian government must put a stop to forced evictions of internally displaced people and provide them with adequate housing, Amnesty International said today.
The call comes as Amnesty International publishes a briefing, Uprooted again: Forced evictions of internally displaced persons in Georgia, detailing a pattern of forced evictions in June – August 2010 and January 2011 from temporary shelters where people have sought refuge.
With a fresh wave of evictions having started in Tbilisi in July 2011, Amnesty International is urging the Georgian authorities to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated.
"In their drive to empty temporary housing shelters in the capital and provide displaced people with durable housing the Georgian authorities have ignored essential protections for those evicted and estranged many from established support networks and livelihoods," said Natalia Nozadze, Amnesty International's Georgia researcher....
June 27, 2011 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre // The Brookings Institution // London School of Economics Project on Internal Displacement
While the world’s attention often gravitates to the latest emergency situation, we are acutely aware that
most of the world’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in protracted displacement. Displacement
drags on, sometimes for years or decades, because of continuing conflict, because peace processes are
stalled, or because political settlements fail to provide the necessary security and support for the displaced to find solutions.
The 2nd Expert Seminar on Protracted Internal Displacement was held in Geneva from 19-20 January 2011 on the theme of “IDPs in protracted displacement: Is local integration a solution?” Around 100 participants discussed challenges and possibilities of local integration in diverse protracted displacement situations over the course of the two days.
This publication includes the six case studies commissioned for the seminar as well as an introductory essay which
explores the common themes emerging from the studies on protracted displacement and local integration. By focusing on the possibilities and challenges of local integration in protracted displacement, we hope that these
six case studies lead to better understanding—and to concrete actions—which will bring an end to internal displacement
which has gone on for far too long in these six countries and in many others....
June 9, 2011 Brookings Insitute // Internal Displacment Monitoring Center // Norwegian Refugee Council
Most of the world’s 27.5 million internally displaced people
(IDPs) live in protracted displacement. These are
situations where the process for finding durable solutions
is stalled, and/or where IDPs are marginalised
as a consequence of violations or a lack of protection
of their human rights, including economic, social and
cultural rights.1 Solutions are absent or have failed and
IDPs remain disadvantaged and unable to fully enjoy
The seminar brought together about 100 participants
from around the world, from a range of backgrounds
and organisations. They included representatives of
governments and civil society organisations in countries
with protracted internal displacement, international
humanitarian and development organisations (including
UN agencies) donors, research organisations, academics
and other experts. The Chatham House Rule was in
effect during the meeting to allow participants to speak
The seminar focused on the experiences of six countries
with protracted internal displacement – Burundi,
Colombia, Georgia, Serbia, southern Sudan and Uganda.
For each country field research was commissioned and
the resulting case studies were distributed before the
seminar. Other background materials circulated to participants
included an overview of local integration of
IDPs in protracted displacement and reference materials
relating to durable solutions....
June 2, 2011 Central Asia-Caucasus Institute // Silk Road Studies Program
The war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 changed the situation in the South Caucasus fundamentally. Russia‘s invasion of Georgia‘s territory made it clear that the conflicts over Georgia‘s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not merely domestic issues, but had been absorbed into a larger conflict between Russia and Georgia. Moreover, it highlighted the essential differences in Russian and Western foreign policy objectives in the region, and the limited mechanisms for challenging Russia‘s policies in what Moscow considers its exclusive sphere of influence.
In the post-war era, Western powers have largely failed to establish a policy towards Georgia‘s conflicts that takes these new realities into account. This is problematic for several reasons. The post-war status quo is not only unsus-tainable, but also conflicts directly with Western interests in the region. Rus-sia‘s significant military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains a violation of fundamental principles of international law, and thus, threatens the upholding of internationally recognized norms and standards in the re-gion. This, in turn, sets dangerous precedents with implications beyond Georgia and the South Caucasus. Secondly, Russia‘s military buildup on Georgian territory, coupled with continued tensions along the Administra-tive Boundary Lines, suggest that the situation in the region is far from sta-ble. This is a direct concern for the West, as the security deficit in the South Caucasus continues to delay reform processes, hamper economic develop-ment, and prevent the West from helping develop this vital transport corri-dor to Central Asia.
This paper examines these key issues from the perspective of international law....