14 September 2011, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of September 5-11


Acquaintance visit to the Caucasus of Philippe Lefort, the newly appointed EU Special Representative for Southern Caucasus and Crisis in Georgia; youth educational forums in the Rostov and Astrakhan Regions; mass brawls - prevented and not - in the Stavropol Territory; setting up of former militants' adaptation commission in Ingushetia, - look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of September 5-11, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Southern Caucasus: new Special Representative of the European Union studies his region

Within the week, Philippe Lefort, the newly appointed EU's Special Representative for Southern Caucasus and Crisis in Georgia, was visiting Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the evening on September 4, Mr Lefort arrived at the airport of Baku, where he told reporters that his visit is an indication of the importance of the region for the EU.

On August 5, Philippe Lefort met Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev. The parties exchanged their views on Azerbaijan-EU cooperation in various areas, and on settlement of the Karabakh conflict. The topic of conflict was a priority at other Lefort's meetings too.

On September 7, the Special Representative arrived in Armenia. At his joint press conference with the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan, Philippe Lefort said that both Armenia and Azerbaijan are victims of the Karabakh conflict. He noted that the EU seeks to promote mediation in the settlement process on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is on the Minsk Group (MG) of the OSCE.

The post of the EU Special Representative for Southern Caucasus was resumed from September 1, 2011. Mr Lefort was appointed instead of the Swedish diplomat Peter Semneby, who had been the EU Special Representative for Southern Caucasus for five years. His mandate expired on February 28, 2011.

Southern Russia: youth studies social and entrepreneurial designing at forums

On September 6, the tourist complex "Korsaka" in the Krasnoyarsk District of the Astrakhan Region opened the Interregional Youth Educational Forum "SeliAs-2011". It is attended by about a thousand young people from 15 regions of Russia and from Armenia and Kazakhstan - activists of youth movements and public organizations, students, and employees of local authorities in charge of youth policy. In 2010, the "SeliAs" was attended by over 300 young people.

The founder of the forum is the Agency for Youth Matters of the Astrakhan Region. The event is for the first time held in southern Russia by the model of "Seliger" with the aim to promote talented and motivated youngsters, help to implement innovative and entrepreneurial ideas, and career and creative growth.

Besides, these days the Rostov Region held the regional youth forum "Rostov-2011". Around 1500 young people from all 55 municipalities of the Rostov Region, as well as from Krasnodar, Volgograd, Adygea and Kalmykia were trained in social engineering and communication skills.

Stavropol Territory: residents are fighting in groups

In the evening on September 6, a mass brawl burst out in the village of Divnoe, Apanasenkov District of the Stavropol Territory. According to different sources, from six to fifteen persons took part in it. In the square near the building of the Central Regional Hospital named after Palchikov, three young men were attacked by hooligans. They beat them with bats and chains, and damaged three cars parked nearby.

Policemen are now establishing the connection of this incident with another one that happened in the same village in the evening on September 4. Then, in the square near the fountain, a native of Kalmykia punched a local resident, who fell on his back and hit his head on the asphalt. The victim was hospitalized with an internal head injury and severe brain contusion. On September 10, the young man died. As reported by one of his friends, now one of the participants of the conflict is detained by the police.

It should be noted here that on September 5, a resident of the village of Vozdvizhenskoe of the same Apanasenkov District, Stavropol Territory, opened fire on locals; three persons were injured. On the same day, law enforcers managed to prevent a conflict in the village of Makhmudmektebe of the Neftekumsk District of the Territory. About two hundred persons were going to stage a mass brawl inn the outskirts of the village. On September 6, the initiators of the fight were reconciled by the local Security Council.

Ingushetia: authorities promise to voluntarily surrendered militants through adaptation commission

On September 9, Ingushetia, which has already seen cases of voluntary surrender of members of the armed underground; and the local authorities are eager, as stated by the republic's leader Yunus-Bek Evkurov, to start a dialogue with this category of persons by inviting them with special conditions aimed to make the voluntary surrender attractive for those who decided to try to return to peaceful life, has set up a commission aimed to render help in adapting to peaceful life to those who have decided to stop their terrorist and extremist activities in the territory of Ingushetia.

The commission is organized similar to the commission for assisting in adapting to peaceful life operating in Dagestan and chaired there by Vice Premier Rizvan Kurbanov. The Dagestani commission was formed in accordance with the decree Magomedsalam Magomedov of November 2, 2010. Ahmed Kotiev, the Ingush Secretary of the Security Council Secretary, who is chairing the commission, had studied, together with the Ingush Ombudsperson, the experience of the Dagestani commission.

The adaptation commission of Ingushetia has the following mission: to facilitate resolution of issues of legal aid to the persons who have decided to stop their terrorist and extremist activities; to help them and members of their families in accommodation, including their departure for permanent residence outside the Republic of Ingushetia.

During the work of such commission in Dagestan, about 30 members of the armed underground came there to surrender. The authorities also help those convicts, already sentenced for criminal acts, who are ready to correct.


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