HOMEStrategies for building awareness for the potential of peace education in Cameroon Ben Oru Mforndip
Has Democracy Enhanced Development in Africa? Conrad John Masabo
Permanent Emergency Powers in France: The ‘Law to Strengthen Internal Security and the Fight Against Terrorism’ and the Protection of Human Rights Lena Muhs
Women’s Political Representation in Sri Lanka: Leading towards Prosperity or Peril Pujika Rathnayake
Lack of empathy as a threat to peace Victoria Scheyer
The death of democracy in Honduras Daniel Bagheri S.
Berta Vive Daniel Bagheri Sarvestani
The Persons Who Changed the Lives of Terrorists and Criminals Surya Nath Prasad
RECENT ARTICLES Teaching Peace from Tales of the City: Peace Education through the Memoryscapes of Nagasaki Patporn Phoothong
Reflections of Refugees in Africa Wyclife Ong'eta Mose
Challenges and prospects of AU to implement the Ezulwini Consensus: The case of collective security and the use of force Tunamsifu Shirambere Philippe
The Right to Food Shant Melkonian
Freedom of Expression Under Threat in Zambia Mariateresa Garrido
Douglas Janoff on LGBTQIA Human Rights Luciana Téllez
Common Things: Communication, Community, Communal Peacebuilding Lina Patricia Forero Martínez
The political Crisis of the 2017 Honduran Election Daniel Bagheri S.
Water Security in the Sixaola River Basin Adrián Martinez Blanco and Diana Ubico Durán
Reborn Arunima Chouguley
An Open Letter to the American People: Political Responsibility in the Nuclear Age Richard Falk, David Krieger, and Robert Laney
Last Updated: 08/09/2008Security Council meets again to discuss violence in South Ossetia, Georgia
UN News Service
The Council held an open meeting to discuss the crisis following earlier consultations among members, after holding an initial late-night meeting last night in the wake of the escalating clashes between Georgian and South Ossetian forces.
Georgia’s Permanent Representative, Irakli Alasania, told this afternoon’s Council meeting that Russian forces have launched a “full-scale military invasion” of Georgian territory, with tanks and personnel entering the country and jets bombing airfields, military bases and villages.
Mr. Alasania called on Russia to withdraw its forces, to stop the bombing campaign and to negotiate a ceasefire, adding that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was willing to take part in dialogue with Moscow.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was Georgia that had carried out “a treacherous attack” on South Ossetia, in violation of a 1996 agreement ending earlier fighting between the Georgian and South Ossetian sides and in spite of Russian calls for negotiations and a ceasefire.
Mr. Churkin said Georgian forces were bombarding towns, including those outside the immediate conflict zones, and had created panic among the civilian population, many of whom were now trying to flee to safety.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced serious concern yesterday at the mounting violence, and UN agencies report that the situation has only worsened since then, with rising numbers of civilian deaths and injuries.
Today the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) joined their voices to calls urging all sides to show restraint and take steps to prevent any further casualties.
OHCHR called on all sides “to safeguard the rights of displaced people and refugees, including through the creation of safe passages for them to leave conflict areas,” according to a press release issued in Geneva.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) is also closely following the situation, saying that Russian border officials informed the agency’s sub-office in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz that people have been arriving in North Ossetia-Alania, in Russia, throughout the night.
“Authorities say thousands of people have arrived from South Ossetia to North Ossetia-Alania this week,” UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva.
UNHCR’s office in Vladikavkaz is in daily contact with the authorities and following the situation closely, he said, adding that the Georgian and Russian Governments are responding to the immediate needs of the recent arrivals and have not asked for help.
Reports are “trickling out” of South Ossetia, and a UNHCR staff member has reported that many buildings and houses have been destroyed and that only military personnel are moving on the streets.
Mr. Redmond said that water is also in short supply – a chronic problem worsened by recent events – and that most transport has stopped and shops are running out of food.
In addition to those that have crossed over the border into Russia, some 400 people are believed to have moved from South Ossetia to other parts of Georgia. UNHCR staff in Georgia and their partners are monitoring the new arrivals from South Ossetia and maintaining close contact with the Georgian Ministry of Refugee and Accommodation.
UNHCR’s operations in the country focus on more than 275,000 people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) linked to the separate conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless people and returnees.