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PACE urges Russia and Georgia to open access to conflict areas2009-01-27 09:31
PACE regrets limitations of international aid to South Ossetia and intends to urge Russia and Georgia to grant access to conflict areas for all humanitarian structures, the draft resolution "The humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia" states - ITAR TASS.gt-en-newsitem-inside
The Assembly is ready to admit "the generous response of Russia to the needs of the refugees from South Ossetia and the assistance provided to them on their return to South Ossetia." At the same time, it "deplores the restrictions placed on the delivery of international humanitarian aid for the region and the insistence that all aid for South Ossetia be brought through Russia rather than through Georgia".
PACE deplores "the fact that humanitarian access has fallen victim to political considerations by the parties to the conflict and is also concerned at provisions of the new Georgian Law on the Occupied Territories, which may restrict access and the delivery of humanitarian aid to all areas by humanitarian actors and may not be in line with, and may violate, relevant international obligations".
Besides, the project urges both side s to guarantee the right for voluntary return for all refugees and release immediately all the captured, prisoners and hostages.
The draft authors insist on the necessity to grant access to South Ossetian border from both sides, including in the territories of former conflict areas, for OSCE monitors. According to the resolution draft," Following the breakout of war in August 2008, it has been estimated that 133,000 persons were displaced in Georgia from South Ossetia and the so called "buffer zone" and Abkhazia. According to estimates from the Russian authorities, over 36,000 South Ossetians sought refuge in North Ossetia".
About 100 thousand Georgian refugees returned to the "buffer zone", about 23 thousand have few chances for return home, PACE notices. According to the Assembly, only 2 thousand of those who fled to Russia, didn't return home.
"The situation in South Ossetia remains extremely complicated for the civilian population. They are cut off from the rest of Georgia, with little or no access to international humanitarian aid and human rights monitoring. They are facing great hardship during the winter months, due in particular to shortages of food and non-food items, electricity and gas ".
It's worthy noticing that the draft resolution can be amended up to mid January 27th .