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Refugees having nowhere to escape2012-01-20 18:52
The issue of refugees, which many hundreds of thousands of people were turned into after the Caucasian conflicts, has again become relevant. President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili personally transports the belongings of the forcibly displayed persons to Batumi, while Abkhaz foreign minister is complaining about the international organizations' indifference to the Abkhaz viewpoint on the refugees issue. The problem cannot be possibly solved but it can be easily traded on.
Head of the European Bureau of UN High Commissioner for Refugees Daniel Endres has recently come back from Abkhazia. He met with many officials in Sukhum, first of all with Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba. The minister complained about the international community's indifference to the Abkhaz viewpoint on the issue of refugees. "UN General Assembly adopted several resolutions on bringing refugees back but neither the Abkhaz, nor South-Ossetian party was admitted even to the preliminary stage of the discussion, though we had asked for it. That is why we reacted by refusing to discuss the refugees problem in the context of Geneva discussions", - Chirikba said.
He also added that Abkhazia looks on the problem of refugees as on a wider one than Europe and the West does. "Everyone who left Abkhazia during the war are refugees, including not only the Georgians but also the Abkhaz, Russians, Armenians, Estonians, Greeks, Jews. We are concerned about their future", - Chirikba said.
The minister is right: the problem of refugees is much wider than it seems to be to the international structures. For them, the issue is purely political. "Georgians should be returned to Abkhazia and South Ossetia because they have fallen victims to an ethnic conflict", - that is what they think in general.
Perhaps, the reason of such non-professionalism is the fact that the international community has never really tackled the problem.
Let us try to demonstrate the true depth of the problem. Firstly, Georgians in Abkhazia, just like Armenians in Azerbaijan, lived in the epoch of USSR, a state that does not exist any longer. The presence of external power guaranteed a certain safety level even in case of possible ethnic conflicts. Now a new epoch of national projects has come to the South Caucasus. Georgians cannot be possibly "stuck" into the Abkhaz project and Armenians into the Azerbaijani one. Thus, both nations cannot return to their previous places of residence. Georgians may come back to Abkhazia only together with Georgia; otherwise, the prospect is zero.
The rest is just talking and speculating on hundreds of thousands of unlucky people whose life was clearly broken into "before" and "after" the war.
The fact that the problem is purely political for the international organizations is proved by their total indifference to the future of those refugees who have got no political obstacles for returning to their motherland. For instance, Azerbaijan was left by dozens of thousands of Russians, other nationalities and Azerbaijani as well. The same thing happened in Abkhazia when Armenians, Russians, Greeks and the Abkhaz ran away from the war and are not eager to come back. Why? Because there are no proper economic conditions, at the very least. Besides, the people have lived in exile for twenty years. The foreign land has become theirs. They have raised children there; they've got a job and a settled life.
For that reason, large-scale return of refugees is impossible, or external donors must allocate enormous sums to house a large amount of people, which is unreal.