Yuri Dzitstsoity: UN General Assembly adopted a deficient resolution

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 13:18

Flash-poll: July 3, 2012 The UN General Assembly approved a draft resolution "Situation with the Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinval district / South Ossetia, Georgia", put to the vote by Georgia. How do you evaluate the decision of the General Assembly?

Zita Besaeva, head of the legal department of the Parliament of South Ossetia:
Such an initiative on the part of Georgia is premature. Firstly, because Georgia should sign an agreement that it will not resume hostilities against South Ossetia.

Secondly, Georgia has to recognize the genocide against South Ossetia and the damage, it caused to our Republic, should be compensated. Only after compliance with these and several other important points, one can consider the issue of repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons. Until the compliance with the above-mentioned items I have not the moral right to express a different opinion as a representative of the Ossetian people. As long as our rights are not met – we`ll not agree to any compromise in this regard. Moreover, such decisions should be made, taking into account the opinion of the people of South Ossetia, as a subject of the international law, regardless of whether they want to accept this fact or not.

Batradz Kharebov, Chairman of the Journalists' Union of South Ossetia:

The UN General Assembly has repeatedly adopted different resolutions on various issues at the instigation of Georgia, including those relating to refugees and displaced persons. The fact is that each time the approach to this question is one-sided; they do not take into account the opinion of the other parties - Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This resolution cannot have real power because a permanent member of the UN Security Council – Russia- is on the side of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. One cannot ignore the opinion of Russia in the UN Security Council, it can veto any decision. The UN General Assembly resolutions are advisory in nature and have no legal force. Talking about refugees or displaced persons, one should have clear definition, who falls into this category. The fact is that the majority of the Georgian population left South Ossetia voluntarily. It is wrong to declare that all of them are refugees and displaced persons. Moreover, many people among this population directly participated in hostilities against the civilian population of South Ossetia and according to our laws they are war criminals. In any case, when displaced to South Ossetia, they will be arrested and will answer according to the law.

Yury Dzitstsoity, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament of South Ossetia:

With regard to refugees and internally displaced persons, one must recall the beginning of the 90s, when the Ossetian population of the mixed villages - Achabeti, Kurta, Tamarasheni etc, -was expelled from their homes. The Georgian authorities announced at once that those were purely the Georgian villages. And after they had provoked the war in 2008, the inhabitants of these villages were suddenly declared as refugees. It is not logical, as in accordance with the Constitution of Georgia, South Ossetia does not exist as the state. So, there cannot be refugees from these villages, at best, they can be considered as internally displaced persons.
After August 2008 the Georgian side drew up maps and distributed them to all international organizations - such as PACE and the United Nations - promoting the idea that the ethnic Georgian villages had been depopulated as a result of this war. At that time I accompanied the representatives of PACE in inspecting these villages and saw that map. We stopped at the place, where supposedly had lived those refugees. I asked them to find the houses of Ossetians and Georgians on the map. In response, I was asked a question: "What, were the Ossetians also living here?" I asked them to show me the Ossetian village of Mamitykau on the map, but they did not find it there - it had been burned down to drive the Georgian bypass road.
Ossetian villages, burnt by Gamsakhurdia, are unmapped and the Ossetian houses are listed as the Georgians. All this is done on purpose to somehow justify themselves to the international community. In fact, the so-called refugees sent their families to Georgia and provoked a war, but losing it, run away, following their families. Should one call these people the refugees? I believe that there are a huge number of war criminals among them.
When these issues are discussed in PACE, in the UN and other international organizations, South Ossetia is never invited to the discussion and the information, submitted there, is always one-sided.
In addition, at such events no one has ever mentioned about the Ossetians expelled in the 90s from Georgia to North Ossetia and to other regions of Russia. They are the real refugees, but there is no mention of it, otherwise the game of the high and the mighty will be collapsed.
Therefore, the document, adopted by General Assembly, has been initially deficient, we can`t take it seriously.

Mira Tskhovrebova, Vice-Speaker of South Ossetia:

First of all, the United Nations Organization ought to recognize South Ossetia as the independent sovereign state. After that we, having the RSO representative in the UN, will jointly develop the similar resolutions and will observe them.

Lyudmila Galavanova, MP RSO:

Initially, South Ossetia should be recognized as a state. After that, one should begin to address the issues not only on returning the Georgians to South Ossetia, but also the return of the Ossetians to the territory of Georgia. How many thousands of people were expelled, and how many fled from there! Only after that we can start a dialogue.

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