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Chechnya, WILPF statement

The following statement was sent to the Russian Government,and copied to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Mr. Kofi Annan,UN secretary general, the Security Council and the European governments.

26 November 1999

RE: Chechnya

The Women´s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), founded in 1915 in protest of the killing and destruction caused by the war raging in Europe, remains the only international women's organization with the sole aim of achieving world peace, freedom, economic and social justice, respect for fundamental human rights, and disarmament. WILPF has sections in more than forty countries representing all continents. For more than 84 years WILPF members have been working for the prevention of war, and for the political solutions to all conflicts. WILPF has consultative status with the United Nations and with several of its Specialized Agencies.

We recall with deep sadness the devastating two-year war in Chechnya (1994-96), when more than 100,000 Chechens and an unknown number of Russian soldiers were killed, and the territory's infrastructure destroyed.

We are horrified by the Russian government's new, all-out military actions on the ground and from the air against the Chechen population, killing innocent people, destroying homes and causing more than 200,000 refugees as they flee from the bombardments.

The war against the Chechen people, including the arbitrary arrests of Chechens in Russia proper will not resolve the conflict and will only further destabilize the entire Caucasus region.

We are encouraged by the governments' agreement to allow an OSCE delegation to visit the area and urge the Russian government to use the good offices of the OSCE in helping to resolve the conflict.

We therefore urgently appeal to the Russian Government to

- cease forthwith all military actions in Chechnya and enter into meaningful talks with representatives of the Chechen people, including women, to seek a political solution to the conflict, if necessary involving the OSCE as a mediator in resolving differences;

- to provide urgent assistance to the refugees;

- to urgently begin the process of reconstruction and stabilization of peace based on respect for human rights and justice.


Bruna Nota
International President,
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
International Secretariat
1211 Geneva 20

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