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Is South Ossetia On The Verge Of An Internal Conflict?

South Ossetia Prime Minister Vadim Brovtsev: scapegoat?
South Ossetia Prime Minister Vadim Brovtsev: scapegoat?
The Coordinating Council of Social and Political Organizations of South Ossetia has released a statement warning that tensions within the unrecognized republic are increasing and could lead to an armed conflict. The Russian agency Regnum posted the statement on February 20.

The statement accuses the republic's leadership under Eduard Kokoity of having failed totally to comply with plans for the reconstruction of homes and other infrastructure destroyed during the August 2008 war. It suggests that Kokoity may plan to make Vadim Brovtsev, the businessman he brought last summer from Chelyabinsk to head the government, the scapegoat for that failure, together with other unnamed figures from Kokoity's close entourage. Brovtsev is considering submitting his resignation, according to a separate Regnum report on February 21 that did not specify his possible motives for doing so.

The statement further expresses concern that pro-Kokoity media outlets are fuelling domestic political tensions by warning of an imminent coup and possibly even a civil war. On February 13, Osinform quoted former oppositionist Alan Dzhigkayev as alleging that the opposition plans to seize power by force.

Police officials appeal daily on republican television to call on the population to register by March 1 weapons illegally in their possession.

The statement attributes the arrest last week of Fatima Margiyeva, editor of the newspaper "Pozitsiya," to her "honest and frank" reporting on the situation in South Ossetia. Margiyeva has been charged with illegal arms possession.

The statement characterizes Kokoity as a "dictator" and as totally lacking in professionalism. It expresses concern that he may deliberately unleash a conflict with the sole aim of saving his own skin. Stressing that the Coordinating Council acts in full accordance with the unrecognized republic's constitution, the statement warns Kokoity that history will be his judge in the event that he commits any actions detrimental to individual citizens or that hinder the building of an independent, democratic, law-based state.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.


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