Tuesday, September 09, 2008

ICJ hears Georgia's case against ethnic cleansing

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague - the principal  judicial organ of the U.N. - is presently hearing three days of urgent proceedings connected with Russia's recent invasion of Georgia.

The action began last month, when Georgia

submitted a request that the court impose provisional measures to preserve its “rights… under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to protect its citizens against violent discriminatory acts by Russian armed forces, acting in concert with separatist militia and foreign mercenaries” on and around its territory.

In that application, Georgia said that since the early 1990s, Russia has “engaged in a systematic policy of ethnic discrimination directed against the ethnic Georgian population and other groups in those regions.”

Further, Georgia contends that despite the withdrawal of its troops and its declaration of a ceasefire, Russian military operations have continued in territories in Georgia’s control. 

The UN News Centre also notes that

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 160,000 people were displaced during the conflict which began on 8 August, with some 128,000 uprooted within Georgia. Most of the roughly 30,000 who fled to Russia have since returned to South Ossetia.

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