North Caucasus NGO Monitor

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 14:25:19 +0200 (EET)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: North Caucasus NGO Monitor

From: MINELRES moderator <>

Original sender: Andre Kamenshikov, NINIS <>

North Caucasus NGO Monitor


Over the past month the fighting in the North Caucasus has not only
continued, but intensified. The new war in Chachnya is currently at is
peak as federal troops are storming Grozny and at the same time -
moving into the mountains on the south of Chechnya. 

This war has already created an immense human tragedy, resulting in
hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (the term, used
instead of the term "refugees" by Russian Federal authorities). The
largest concentration of IDPs is in Ingushetia - a small region
between Chechnya and North Ossetia. This is a tremendous burden on
this small republic, and though significant amounts of aid are
currently being sent in, they are still far from adequate to mach
event the most basic needs. Thus, we would like to appeal to all
readers of this "Monitor" to do whatever is possible to assist the
IDP's in Ingushetia and the rest of the regions surrounding Chechnya.

1. Ingush Red Crescent Society assisting IDP's from Chechnya.

The Ingush Red Crescent Society was set up in 1992 soon after the
tragic Ossetian-Ingush conflict. Since then it was able to help
directly a few hundred thousand people, most of them - many times. In
addition to this, the Ingush Red Crescent Society assisted the
operations carried out by other organisations and relief agencies. All
this aid was directed to help IDP's (Internally Displaced Persons) -
both from the Prigorodny district of North Ossetia and from Chechnya.

Today the society is focused almost exclusively on assisting IDP's
from Chechnya, the majority of whom have fled to neighbouring
Ingushetia. Currently there are over 200,000 such IDP's in Ingushetia.
Together with the IDP's remaining from the Ossetian-Ingush conflict of
1992 and the "first" war in Chechnya this nearly doubles the
population in the small Ingush republic.

The current activities of the Ingush Red Crescent society are focused
on delivering clothing to IDP's from Chechnya. Most of the aid is
coming from the Russian Red Cross society and ICRC. The society is
able to receive and distribute aid from other international
organisations, but it may have difficulties taking care of customs

An important aspect in the work of the Ingush Red Crescent society is
that it delivers aid directly "hands in hands". Thus it has full
control of the distribution process. It also regularly updates
information about the numbers and location of IDP's, since this data
constantly changes. This is done through a network of local staff,
which the society maintains in all the main IDP locations.

Besides distributing clothing, the Ingush Red Crescent Society plans
to open two mobile medical aid centres and is expecting the arrival of
a group of qualified physicians from Moscow.

Nazran, Mosckovskaya Street, 35
Ingushetia, Russian Federation
Contact person:	Liza Omarhadjieva
Phone: (87322) 26715; 23063     

2. Plans for a meeting of Chechen and Ingush NGOs.

A new initiative developed during the meeting of representatives of
Nonviolence International with local NGOs in Ingushetia in December,
1999. Leila Tsoroeva, and Ingush NGO activist, whom we wrote about in
the "Monitor" proposed organizing a meeting of Chechen and Ingush
NGOs, who are currently located on the territory of the Ingush

This is an important initiative, since today Ingushetia is home for
over 200,000 Chechen IDP's. A number of Chechen NGO activists have
also moved to Ingushetia and a few of them have been continuing their
activities in refugee camps (such as the Centre for Peacemaking and
Community Development, which we wrote about in the previous issues).

Though Ingushetia is the only region in the Russian Federation,
willing to host Chechen refugees in such large numbers, this became an
immense burden on the small republic, overwhelmed with problems of its
own. Thus, their are tensions between the local population and the
IDP's and these tensions tend to grow.

The aid that is being provided for the IDP's is far from adequate, and
many of them feel that they are not getting what is being provided.
Also, aid that is being provided is often designated only to refugees
from the "current" war in Chechnya, while significant numbers of IDP's
who came in to Ingushetia in 1994-96 or during the Ossetian-Ingush
conflict in 1992 feel that they have been forgotten.

Thus developing a constructive dialogue between Chechen and Ingush
NGOs is especially important in the current environment, since it may
help in preventing the growth of inter-ethnic tensions between these
closely related peoples.

For more information about the development of this initiative, contact
Nonviolence International (address at the end of the "Monitor") or
Leila Tsoroeva in Ingushetia.

Leila Tsoroeva's new 
address (changed!):
Altievo, Tsoroeva Street, 1 
Ingushetia, Russian Federation

3. NGO Working Group on Conflict Management and Prevention meets near

On November 24-28 a meeting took place in Moscow of approximately 55
organizations, involved in conflict management and resolution
activities in the CIS states. This included a number of international
organizations, who participated as organizers or as guests. The
meeting took place at the "Golitsino" resort near Moscow.
The meeting was a continuation of the activities of the NGO Working
Group on Conflict Management and Prevention, which was organized as
one of the NGO Working Groups within the framework of the CIS
Conference on Refugees and Involuntarily Displaced Persons. It was
organized by Nonviolence International, International Alert and the
Center for Conflict Management (Kazakhstan) with the financial support
of the Open Society Institute, Charity know-how foundation and UNHCR.

As a result of this meeting important practical decisions were made
about the structure and strategy of the NGO Working Group, including a
decision to formulate a CIS strategy of NGO involvement in conflict
management and resolution activities. A wide range of practical ideas
about conflict management programs that maybe implemented through
local NGOs were formulated during the  this meeting. Thus, the NGO
Working Group is beginning to develop as a unique network, uniting CIS
and international organizations, researchers and practitioners in the
field of conflict management and prevention. The important potential
of this network is that it may serve not just the goal of early
warning, but become a tool of early action.

With this publication we conclude the first stage of publishing an
electronic newsletter about constructive NGO activities in conflict
regions of the North Caucasus. During a year this publication
regularly came out with the support of the Open Society Institute
Policy Fellowship Program. We hope that it was instrumental in
obtaining information about constructive activities on the local level
from regions, which we usually hear about in relationship with
military action and immense human suffering. 

However, we intend to continue informing about such constructive local
NGO activities in the future. We plan to provide more analytical
information - our analysis of the developments in the areas of
conflict and tensions and recommendations about possible actions,
projects and activities there.

We remain open for contacts and suggestions about information that
might be of interest or to our readers, and we are certainly willing
to provide any assistance we can to those, who, on their part, are
willing to help the courageous groups and individuals working in the
North Caucasus.

"North Caucasus NGO Monitor" is a publication produced by members of
the Nonviolence International - Newly Independent States" (NI-NIS) on
a fellowship from the Open Society Institute in Budapest. Its goals

- to help in exploring new approaches for humanitarian activities
which allow supporting elements of civil society in the North
Caucasus, while significantly lowering the security risks associated
with such activities;

- to provide continuous information about constructive activities of
NGOs on a community level in areas of tension and conflict in the
North Caucasus;

- to highlight the work of dedicated local activists, who despite
extreme difficulties work toward peace, reconciliation, social and
economical revival of their communities.

Phone and fax numbers in the bulletin are given with the Russian
internal area codes. When dialing from outside Russia or the CIS
states, the numbers provided must be preceded with 7 - Russia's
country code.
Names are given according to the Russian standard - surname before the
first name. 

For questions and comments as well as to get additional information
about NGO activities in the North Caucasus please contact:

Nonviolence International - Newly Independent States,  
Contact person - Kamenshikov Andre
Luchnikov Lane, house 4, entrance 3, room 2
Moscow, Russia, 103982
Tel. (095) 206-8618 or 351-4855, fax 206-8853, 

MINELRES - a forum for discussion on minorities in Central&Eastern

List archive: