are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.
and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and
do not necessarily represent the views of UNESCO.
The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries.
The Network of Ethnological Monitoring and Early Warning (EAWARN) is an independent non-government organization representing leading experts in the field of ethnopolitics and conflict management for the area of the former Soviet Union. It does policy-oriented analysis, early warning activities, competence raising and conflict resolution training, grass root peace-making interventions. EAWARN’s members operate in ten states, including about 30 multi-ethnic and conflict prone regions of Russia. The main EAWARN office is situated in the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Founding Director of EAWARN is Professor Valery Tishkov. Previous EAWARN annual seminars took place in Moscow (1994), Cyprus (1995), Northern Ireland (1996), Croatia (1997), Sri Lanka (1998), Catalunia (1999).
Annual Seminar Program - 2000
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Prof. Venalii Amelin (Orenburg oblast)
The seminar took place at the Miraclub Hotel in Kemer, Antalia. This famous Turkish resort provided a friendly and comfortable environment for a fruitful and enjoyable meeting of 35 participants from ten post-Soviet states and for representatives of the local academic community to discuss a number of important issues of monitoring ethnicity and conflict in multi-ethnic societies as well as of the activities of the Network for Ethnological Monitoring and Early Warning (EAWARN).
The seminar was opened by Professor Valery Tishkov, Director of EAWARN and coordinator of the UNESCO-MOST project "Monitoring Conflict and Cohesion". He stressed the remarkable continuity and specific meaning of the annual meeting from the aspect of strengthening EAWARN as "a unique epistemiological community" in the words of the U.S. communication studies expert, Kirsten Foot who, in 1999, defended her PhD’s dissertation on the EAWARN under the title "Writing Conflict". Annual seminars have three goals: a) to evaluate the state-of-the-art in ethnic studies and conflict prevention; b) to provide an updated analysis of the ethnopolitical situation in post-Soviet states; c) to broaden knowledge and experience primarily through a host country case analysis.
The EAWARN 2000 seminar demonstrates that after constituting itself
as non-governmental organization in 1999, EAWARN did not loose its position
and capacities. It has gained more reputation and influence through broadening
its geography and activities (see list of participants). Currently EAWARN
has about 40 full members and there are new applicants wishing to join
the organization. This seminar is the largest by number of participants
and financial support was provided by the Forum of Early Warning and Early
Response (FEWER) and the UNESCO Management of Social Transformation (MOST)
program. The enthusiasm by the EAWARNers was demonstrated by their willingness
to find resources to travel to Moscow and by their enthusiastic response
to the location of the seminar and to its program. At the opening session
new members were introduced from the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia (Krasnodar
krai, Mordovia republic). Other members reported their major achievements
and life changes since the last seminar in Catalonia (October 1999). The
program has been approved.
The session on theory and practice of conflict and conflict management was opened with Valery Tishkov’s presentation of the issue based on the EAWARN data, the MOST model case studies and his own research. Debates on the "age of conflicts" do partially reflect a fin de siècle discourse when more awareness and dramatic meaning are attributed to recent tectonic changes of global geopolitics accompanied with violent manifestations. In most cases, it is possible define four major stages in conflict evolution which can, at the same time, be characterised as types of conflict.
Phase one is a situation of existing and growing inter-ethnic or ethnic group versus state tension when asymmetric relations or indirect (structural) violence cause concern, fear, discontent, political mobilisation prone to potential violence. What is crucial and innovative with analysing the pre-conflict (tension) stage, is a better understanding of "suffering", which normally should be explained and taught by outside actors or by inside activists before being internalised as a group of "basic human needs". This is also a stage when conflict categories and projects emerge and arm people with political and emotional arguments. It is important which strategies are chosen to address existing problems: peaceful bargaining and negotiations or non-negotiable stances to violent responses.
Phase two is a stage when tension evolves into sporadic violence and demonstrative group alienation and when dialogue is severely damaged. Often, it is accompanied by a series of micro-violent behaviour manifestations breaking existing laws. Avoiding a legal order is legitimised through political arguments of "riot", "national uprising", "freedom fighting", etc. It is a stage of non-organized and poorly programmed conflict without institutionalised warring parties and with (para)military formations. Post-factual rationalisation is brought at the later stage in case the conflict is not resolved and violence is not arrested.
Phase three is an open violent conflict when two or more parties are formed on a basis of certain programs or slogans and when violence transforms into a battlefield with organized combatant forces. Open conflict acquires its own logic and content which differ from the original slogans and appeals. Human losses and destruction bring a feeling of revenge to the cause. Fighting is becoming professional and new actors are being brought to the battlefield. It is a stage when a conflict may be seriously usurped by outside actors and the warring parties are losing their potential to reach an agreement. In some cases, outside actors may stop the conflict through peace-enforcement or may sponsor it in the long term.
One of the recent developments in conflict resolution is the use of an international force to prevent massive violence or to end the conflict. Tishkov expressed the opinion that the shortfalls of the civilian system in a particular situation should not be used as justification for the military solution. Chechnya is a demonstrative case. The Kosovo experience is also very problematic because it was not before, but after, the start of the NATO operation that a major population exodus, destruction, and ethnic cleansing took place in Yugoslavia. The military forces were not neutral and impartial, they were forces of punishment in situation of tension and sporadic violence partly sponsored by outside actors. Civil assistance agencies did not use all their capacities to stop the violence. They were subordinate to the military command, which should not be the case in any circumstances
Phase four: out of conflict or post-conflict reconstruction characterised by a "no war – no peace" situation or by a positive peace with conflicting parties rebuilding their relations according to signed agreements. Open conflict may end with the defeat of one of the warring parties but this situation is likely to lead to new violence. Rehabilitation of war-torn societies has its own serious challenges necessitating empowering those who suffered most from the conflict and without whom it is impossible to restore peace. In severely damaged societies reconstruction is impossible without outside assistance and attracting considerable resources for rehabilitation programs.
Tishkov formulated key strategies for post-conflict reconstruction in Chechnya: a) the possibility of reaching a consensus on policy towards Chechnya in Russian politics and society at large and b) the readiness of the state and the public to allocate resources for the post-war reconstruction of the region. No less important is a capacity of the Chechen society to participate and to define the peace-building process. The dilemma is that the severely damaged Chechen society is incapable of providing internal coherence and resources for restoration and at the same time Chechnya can not be restored without local mobilisation for a peace-building process and for post-war reconstruction. The main directions for reconstruction efforts are as follows:
Session two. Ethnic Relations and Conflicts in Post-Soviet States.
Russia’s Volga area.
Orenburg oblast: This muti-ethnic region (7% - Tartars, 5% - Kazakhs, 10% - other non-Russians) is still stable in spite of growing tension mainly because of migration problems. Migrants from Kazakhstan and Caucasus now represent 40 – 50% of population in some parts of the oblast. Local government developed a special program for managing ethnic issues. There are 7 ethnic newspapers and TV and radio programs for minorities. Religious issues came into the forefront recently. The number of self-proclaimed parishes (communities) and a decline in mosque building by religious extremists is growing. Negative stereotypes of Gypsies and Jews have been replaced by anti-Caucasian phobia. Putin’s reforms of administrative system were met positively, but this support is diminishing because the Centre fails to allocate resources for social programs.
Republic of Bashkortostan: Major tendencies are still the same as in 1999 but the relations with the Federal Centre have changed. Last year, the law on citizenship was passed as an act of "filling the sovereignty with real content". Now they are going back on their commitments. There is a certain dynamism in the perception of Putin’s reforms on the part of local elite. In the spring, there was full support; in the summer there was discreet polemics; in the fall, the elite reorganized its ranks and now demonstrates more solidarity in challenging Putin’s initiative. Regional leaders use political and ideological arguments, not legal ones, and they have limited resources and less electorate support. In Bashkortostan, Putin’s initiatives are supported by the Russian and Tatar oppositions. The Bashkir ruling elite organizes demonstrations by local nationalists and uses nationalist rhetoric. The feeling of pan-Russian identity is stronger among ethnic Russians, while Bashkirs and Tartars identify themselves more with the republic.
Republic of Mari-El: The economic situation became better and social protest was minimal. Under federal pressure local legislative authorities made changes in legal texts to bring them more in line with the Federal Constitution and laws. There are serious internal disagreements between legislative and executive authorities of the republic. There is conflict between the president of the republic and the heads of municipal governments, especially in large cities. The federal authorities should give more support and power to local (municipal) governments. There is more competence and responsibility among local leaders than among republican authorities.
Republic of Mordovia: For the last year, there have been no profound changes, but Mordovian nationalism is still strong; its major concern was keeping the Mordva people together against intra-group cleavages (Moksha versus Erzya). Cultural manifestations are strong, especially among the Erzya local intelligentsia. They publish their own newspaper, disseminate their ideas widely, and express a certain degree of opposition to the federal authorities. For example, their activists demonstrated open support for the Chechen separatists. Representatives of the Moksha group control political power causing discontent among Erzya. Congresses of the Mordva people regularly debate issues of education and cultural policy.
There are growing activities of new religions in the republic. The Lutheran church widened its influence through local Ingermanland Finnish communities. There are heated debates between this community and the Russian Orthodox church. Religious communities are divided along ethnic lines: there are two Erzya and one Moksha Lutheran communities. Vahhabi Islamists emerged in the villages with predominant Muslim population. There are about 200 Vahhabits in one Tatar village. They came into confrontation with traditional Muslims. Putin’s administrative reform is not a big issue in the republic which has never passed its own declaration of sovereignty.
Republic of Tatarstan: There are some factors which may cause tension in interethnic relations. The main one is overrepresentation of ethnic Tatars in parliament and other power structures. On the other hand, the Tatar language did not become the real official language and Russian is still dominant. The majority of the population support the idea of sovereignty. It is the result of the economic accomplishments of recent years. Tatarstan is one of the leaders of Russia’s economy now. Political tension has been observed around the issue of the delay in the presidential elections and changes in the local election law. Now, 10-years local residence is no longer needed for a candidate and the knowledge of the Tatar language has also been reduced . In spite of the Centre’s position, the presidential election in Tatarstan will take place on 24 December 2000, half a year before Shaimiev’s term expires.
The Constitutional Court of Russia passed 33 protests against Tatarstan’s laws. The local parliament decided to amend only 11 laws; others need to be examined by the conciliatory committee with the federal authorities. President Shaimiev strongly supports sovereignty and pursues a strategy of hard bargaining with the Centre. He is also against municipal elections because "the low political culture of the people permits a lot of manipulations".
Udmurt Republic: The local presidential campaign was the main event of the political year. The local public was divided between two candidates and ethnic factors played A significant role. The election was won by the acting head of the republic, Mr. Volkov - an ethnic Russian. Some of the Udmurt activists feel excluded from power. There is a split among the Udmurt ethnic elite as well. Many activists move into the domain of culture and education and do not claim prestigious positions. The Udmurt identity is marginalised and victimised.
Southern Federal District
Southern Federal District This is a very recent administrative formation which includes the whole region of the North Caucasus plus Kalmykia, Astrakhan and Volgograd oblasts and covers a territory of 800,000 square km with a population of 21 million. It reflects the changing geopolitical priorities of Russia and aims to integrate this problem region into a wider economic and political framework. In the economic sphere, there are very promising projects of developing the Astrakhan gas repositories and constructing the Caspian ferry route from Iran to Astrakhan thus shortening the trade route from Asia to Russia and linking Dagestan to pan-Russian economic ties.
Economic projects have a local political parameter as well because the majority of regional leaders are Communists and they lobby Gasprom’s interests against Chubais’ RAO EAS plans.
The key figure is the Presidential Representative General Viktor Kazantsev, the head of the Southern okrug, who wants to impose order and stability in the region. Chechnya is the main challenge but there is still no elaborate program for post-conflict reconstruction and all links go to Moscow. Kazantsev wants to include the Islamic clergy into the peace process. He speaks of "peace-enforcement" for the Ingush-Ossetian conflict. To realise his policy several institutions were established: a council of the heads of all the federal administrative units; a council of the elders; a consultative committee of 75 members made up of scholars and practitioners for better decision making. Some regional leaders express their concern about the redistribution of power in favour of the new administration. But at the moment General Kazantsev’s reputation is good and certain positive results are expected from this reform.
Republic of Dagestan: After the 1999 war in Dagestan, new clusters of conflicts emerged in this republic. The top political elite is not numerous now. Some influential leaders have been expelled from their official position but they still enjoy informal power and local support from ethnic clans. It is now more difficult to negotiate local disputes and reach a consensus. Stakes in the struggle for power became high among the reduced circle of rulers. At the same time, there were less political assassinations in Dagestan, partly because of the increased presence of the Russian military force.
There are serious changes in the religious situation. Islam has acquired a charismatic role in local public life and politics. After the defeat of armed Vahhabi extremist groups a law was passed which forbidding Vahhabist ideology and activities. The official Islam authority took its revenge and seized power. Criticism of Islam is forbidden and punished.
Relations with the federal Centre became closer and dependent on federal financial transfers. More money was injected into the republic. Moscow pursues a strategy of one strong leader in Dagestan but this goes against the existing local balance and informal power sharing between representatives of major ethnic communities. At the same time, the role of ethnic parties is diminishing. The socio-economic situation is still bad. Many young people are unemployed. Ethnic Russians are still leaving the republic (6% instead of 20% in the mid-70s).
Chechen Republic: Monitoring the situation in war-torn Chechnya is difficult and experts are politically engaged. There is too much propaganda on the part of both conflicting sides. The often-cited expulsion of the Russians was not a valid example because many left the country when the industry was destroyed and salaries not paid. Poverty and insecurity were the major reasons why so many people left Chechnya (about 60% in all). The new war brought new atrocities and destruction. The early belief in federal forces is vanishing and fear prevails again among the civil population.
Some restoration work has been carried out but Moscow does not provide sufficient resources. The crucial issue is leadership. Without restoring elementary order and rule there is no escape from conflict. Mufti Kadyrov is a strange choice for Moscow to have made and he will never gain real support and popularity in Chechnya. The popularity of Maskhadov is very low but the people did not allow Basayev and the others to dismiss him because he was the only legitimate leader. The humanitarian situation is terrible and outside support is minimal. Chechens living in the republic and outside of it are more worried about elementary life subsistence and of the growing anti-Chechen phobia in Russia.
North Ossetia: No progress has been made in resolving the Ingush-Ossetian conflict, mainly because territorial claims are still on the agenda. The Ingush Declaration on sovereignty demanding the ‘reestablishment of territorial integrity’ has not been implemented. Since 1992, there have been several meetings between the two presidents of the conflicting republics. The major obstacle is negative anti-Ingush attitudes among the local population of Ossetia. It makes the return of refugees impossible. Another negative tendency is the migration of ethnic Russians and their declining status in the republic. Russians only represent 14% of the university students and they are not present at all in the prestigious departments such as economics (because they cannot pay the bribes to become students). Political stability and loyalty to the federal centre were strengthened after the war started in Dagestan and then in Chechnya.
Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria: Putin’s initiative in reforming federal structures was met with caution because over 20 local laws had to be changed to in order to eliminate contradictions with federal laws. The parliament amended two laws (on a status of judges and on licensing) and raised salaries for parliamentarians. One of the political issue was a problem of the repatriation of the Kabardin and Balkar peoples. A special law went through two readings and will soon be passed. Another political problem was the reintegration of three republics (Adyghei, Karachaevo-Cherkessii, Kabardino-Balkarii) peopled with ethnically related Adyg groups. At the same time the republic has been extending its economic relations with other regions of Russia and other countries (Tatarstan, Volgograd oblast, Uzbekistan). This produced positive results and the local economy is one of most dynamic in the country. A new law for small businesses is under consideration. A series of forums and international meetings improved the image of the republic and promoted tolerance among its population. The extreme nationalist organization Adyge Khase lost its support. Among the negative factors are the professional labour emigration from the republic and the catastrophic flood in the Tyrnauz mountain area.
Republic of Ingushetia: The main problems are the unresolved conflict with North Ossetia and the large number of refugees from Chechnya and North Ossetia. Discrepancies in the number of refugees (up to 50 thousand) lead to corruption concerning humanitarian aid. The Ingush society became more socially structured: the ‘free economic zone’ enriched a small section of the local population called ‘new Ingush’. The latter are seeking more political power and challenging the authoritarian regime of President Aushev who practically dissolved the republic’s parliament. The new elite support federal authorities in eliminating local laws enabling Aushev to appoint all local administrators and to introduce more democratic principles into the political structure of Ingushetia. President Aushev seeks support from pro-separatist forces and patronises religious extremists. This is a risky political position which can not last long and Aushev will have to take a clearer position in order to improve his relations with Moscow.
Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia: There was a deep and dangerous internal conflict for the most part of the year which ended in the victory of General Semenov – the representative of the Karachai population. An informal agreement on power sharing between major ethnic communities was reached. The local parliament consists of 31 Karachai, 25 Russians, 12 Cherkessian, 3 Abazins, 3 Nogai and one Greek. The Russians are still the major group (38%) but they are politically disorganized and many support the Karachai. Only rural Russians support the Cherkessians. Local Kossaks tried to protect the Russian population but they failed. Russians feel discriminated in the republic (only 12% of the university students are Russians). The ordinary people are tired of political tension and campaigning. The good agricultural crop contributed to the easing of tension. But local resources for economic development are limited. The situation could be improved with better cooperation with the neighbouring Stavropol region. The republic signed economic agreements with Belorus and China.
Republic of Adygea: In spite of a poor socio-economic situation, the local government aimed at economic accountability and minimising its dependence on federal financial transfers. Migration policy is a big issue because local migration legislation oriented towards the preferential repatriation of ethnic Adygs from other countries, is in contradiction with the federal law. In the meantime, there has been no mass emigration of Russians from Adygea. That is why the national NTV program on the discrimination of Russians in Adygea provoked protest meetings among local students.
President Dzharimov publicly supported Putin’s initiatives, and the two leaders agreed to negotiate basic principles establishing federal-republican relations. The language policy is moderate and the Adyg language is studied by the population on a voluntary basis and it has not yet been introduced into the domain of official documentation. The main priorities are to introduce bilingualism and to observe a parity in power representation. Political debates are taking place on the subject of the reform of the Parliament (bi-cameral or one chamber?). The Republican Ministry for Nationalities has been re-established to govern minority problems and cultural policy. Self-determination and separatist slogans are not so popular any more. Ethnically oriented organizations are losing ground among titular and non-titular groups. At the same time a new organization called "Islamic Appeal" has been registered but its leaders reject extremist approaches.
Krasnodarskii krai: There have been improvements in agriculture (a good grain crop in collective farms) and in the tourist industry (more people spent the summer vacation on the Black and Azov shores than in previous years). An oil pipeline which crosses the region is under construction. At the same time there is a serious shortage of energy and large debts to the electricity company "RAO ES". Several elections took place which demonstrated that the region is moving from a pro-Communist to a pro-Putin direction. On December 25, 2000, a new governor will be elected and Alexander Tkachev – a member of the State Duma (Agrarian party faction) is well placed to win.
In the domain of interethnic relations, the most politicised issue was the granting of a formal status to a small group of Shapsugs who reanimated their collective identity quite recently. The local public the and mass-media were against this decision. The issue of granting the region the status of "frontier region" has been seriously discussed as well as that of using Kossak para-military formations as border watch-groups. Krasnodar gained a reputation for its anti-immigrant policy and strong xenophobia. Local restrictive legislation is still in force . Land plots and other property cannot be acquired without a resident permit which are not granted to Armenian and Turk immigrants. Nevertheless, the absolute and relative proportion of Armenians is increasing in the region (now about 220 thousand). This creates a potentially conflictual situation.
Rostov oblast: Despite an extremely severe anti-migration administrative law this region did not attain its goal of stopping immigration. Since the beginning of the 1990s about 500 thousand non-Slav immigrants for the most part arrived in the Rostov oblast. This created tension in inter-ethnic relations and any serious violent clashes are perceived by the overall population as having ethnic projections. Negative group stereotypes are growing and the level of tolerance is decreasing. Personal or property conflicts escalate to the level of ethnic group conflicts. At the same time an ethnic division of labour can be observed in trade and other spheres of entrepreneurial activity.
Another factor is the activation of Cossack formations sometimes headed by local officials. Ataman Vodolazkii is the deputy head of Rostov administration. He calls for Cossak voluntary security guards. The Cossaks organized protest meetings against the construction of the Rostov nuclear power station. There is ongoing confrontation between the Rostov oblast and the city authorities. The Governor’s pro-Yeltzin position did not change into a pro-Putin stance.
Republic of Kalmykia: The situation in the North Caucasus affected local stability and there were cases of violent clashes between Chechens and Russians in one of the regions of Kalmykia. Order was rapidly restored but several police officials were dismissed. More small arms and explosive materials are spreading among civilians. There were cases of hostage-taking for ransoms. Migrants from Chechnya cannot obtain proper status and residence permits and this creates new tensions between major ethnic communities.
On a micro-level, there is growing competition between Kalmykia, the Astrakhan oblast and North Ossetia for influence in the northern part of the Caspian area where new oil sites have been discovered and new pipelines are planned. Kalmykia wants its territory to be used for new oil-supply routes. Two regions of the Astrakhan oblast which formerly belonged to Kalmykia are still the subject of disputes between the authorities and the federal Ministry of Nationalities set up two committees to deal with this issue. Local activists formulated a political demand "to return their lands" which creates a potential for a serious future conflict.
A new political conflict emerged between the Parliament and the Government. It has been aggravated by the growing popularity of Alexandra Buratayeva who was elected to the State Duma from Kalmykia. For the first time since Kirsan Ilumzhinov became a President he has been challenged by an alternative political figure capable to dismissing him as a leader of this republic. Buratayeva played a strongly ethnic card and it negatively influenced the interethnic situation in Kalmykia.
Republic of Karelia: The economic situation has improved and has brought more stability into the region. Power structures have become more assured and ineffective officials have been dismissed or re-elected. There are no open conflicts. Some negative tendencies can be observed in the protection of indigenous Karelian culture and language. The number of classes and textbooks in the Karelian language is diminishing. In the area where there is a small Veps minority there has been a sudden economic boom through joint projects partially financed by the Finns.
Tomsk oblast: There is economic growth in all spheres and low inflation (15 % a year). The average monthly salary is 2500 roubles (USD 90) which is paid regularly. Negative natural growth is overshadowed by immigration, mainly from Kazakhstan and Chechnya. Among the political parties, Zhirinovski’s party is the leader. The nationalistic RNU is made up of several groups. Religious communities and organizations are growing, especially the Russian Orthodox and Islamic. In August 2000, the kaziayat of the Tomsk oblast was established and the first medrese was opened. Azerbaijanis are most numerous among the Islamic population (six-fold increase over ten years). The Azerbaijan Diaspora is seriously criminalised and there are clashes between local Chechens and former soldiers who served in Chechnya.
The Governor Kress is loyal to President Putin and he became a member of the new State Council’s Presidium. The Mayor of Tomsk has opposing political orientations.
Kazakhstan: The basic tendencies are the same but the dynamics are more negative. The first factor is the growing role of public organizations representing ethnic Russians and Russian speakers at large. The new Russian President made important gestures in support of the new Diasporas which makes ethnic cleavages more rigid in Kazakhstan following a period of poorly articulated Russian political behaviour. Existing ethnic disparities, especially in political representation in favour of the titular group as well as a diminishing Russian cultural milieu, serve as a breeding ground for manifestations of mass discontent and the formation of a major conflict between the two main communities.
The second factor is the emerging challenge of religious extremism from the South and growing difficulties in relations with Uzbekistan. The population of southern Kazakhstan fears intervention by paramilitary groups and does not believe that the authorities are capable of providing proper protection. The various ethnic communities perceive this challenge differently and are inclined to blame each other for the destabilisation. It is highly probable that ethnic Russians will very soon leave the southern areas which will actualise the Kazakh-Uzbek contradictions. The central authorities are losing their control and support in southern Kazakhstan. Thus, this state confronts serious ‘northern’ and ‘southern’ challenges with poor prospects of resolving it on a basis of titular nationalism and limited economic resources.
Belorus: The demographic situation is changing with an increasing proportion of ethnic Belorussians (81%), 11% of Russians, and 4% of Poles. The economic situation is fairly stable and the average monthly salary is USD 70. President Lukashenko made many official top-level changes in order to strengthen his position. However political opposition has not been destroyed and the authorities maintain a dialogue with opposition forces under OSCE supervision. The radicals reject any dialogue with President Lukashenko.
The issue of reunification with Russia is not particularly acute and people are tired of political debates and the inconsistent Government policy on this issue. The society is divided in its attitude towards the Lukashenko’s presidency and the course of reunification.
Latvia: The referendum on the citizenship issue took place in 2000. The majority voted for a more democratic version of the citizenship law and for a more tolerant policy for non-citizens. Propagandist efforts by ultra nationalists did not influence the main trend of the Latvian population to recognise the diversity factor. A new Language Law was passed in August 2000 and the radicals from both ethnic parties were disappointed. Russian speakers tried to organize non-violent resistance by refusing to speak Latvian in stores, but they did not get mass support. Politicians and ethnic leaders are playing the ethnic card which does not enable the main issue of relations between the two groups of population to be resolved.
The Language Law is a compromise and it does not cover the private business sphere. In state institutions only Latvian is allowed. Non-government organizations play a positive role in building a dialogue between the two communities and with the state.
Moldova: The socio-economic situation has not improved. Per capita GNP is USD 300 (one of the lowest among CIS countries).The external debt is 1,4 billion dollars, mainly to Russia. The IMF stopped financial donations and the country spends 62% of the budget to pay interest on debts. The privatisation process failed and industrial enterprises are now without resources. Foreign donors demand further privatisation but the communist-led Parliament is against radical reforms. The separatist region of Transdniestria has a better economic situation. It only covers 12% of the territory of Moldova but has a considerable economic potential.
2000 was a year of political confrontation between the President and the Parliament. The constitutional amendment passed in July limited presidential power and it is the Parliament who will elect the President in January 2001. Acting President Luchinskii has a poor chance of being re-elected. Another issue of conflict is language. There were demonstrations by radical students demanding a limitation of the Russian language in mass media and education. The Constitutional Court endorsed these demands but the President had to negotiate the issue and the decision was implemented.
The post-conflict situation with Transdniestria is frozen. No negotiations took place in 2000. After the visit to Moldova by the Russian President, Putin, new committees were established. The Russian coordinator, Mr. Primakov, suggested a plan for the status of the separatist region but his proposal did not satisfy the conflicting parties. The Transdnistrian authorities are taking a resolute stance on the federalisation of Moldova. Indirectly, it was supported by the Gagauz autonomists who seek a place in the negotiation process. Moldova rejects federalisation. The only progress to have been achieved is on the issue of military observers from the OSCE (50 observers from Holland and Finland each).
Kyrgyzstan: The three major conflicting factors are the so-called ‘second Batken war’ with tension around land and water resources and the political struggle for the presidential post. Kyrgyzstan is strengthening its national army. The southern group now has now 6,000 troops and the whole army consists of 12,000 troops. New border regiments were established and they received material supplies from Russia. This permits more effective confrontation with the extremist groups crossing the border from Afganistan and Tajikistan. Military activities in the mountain areas caused new migration of ethnic Russians.
Uzbekistan is the main target of the extremist groups who are mainly composed of ethnic Uzbeks. This causes tense relations with the local Uzbek minority in Kyrgyzstan as well as between the two states.
There are about 70 territorial disputes along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border and considerable clashes and tension on the issue of the use of water and land. Some parts of the border were mined by the Uzbek military. Border control is severe for the civilian population but the border guards are corrupt. It is only recently that the Kyrgyz authorities have started negotiations with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on border issues and on joint actions against illegal armed groups. Drug traffic is enormous and it has become a common challenge. There is also an unresolved water dispute with Kazakhstan.
New parliamentary elections brought 81 ethnic Kyrgyz, 9 Russians, 5 Uzbeks, and 5 others to the Parliament of 105 members. The demographic proportion of Kyrgyz is 60%.
The acting President Askar Akayev will be re-elected in the coming presidential election.
Tajikistan: According to a recent census, the country’s population is 6,124000, Tajiks - 70%, Uzbeks – 24%, Russians – 3%. Six political parties, including the Islamic Party, took part in parliamentary elections. 99 deputies were elected, including representatives of the former Islamic opposition. The main issue is the defence of the border with Afghanistan which is crossed by narcotic traders and armed groups. In 2000, the Russian military garrisons obtained a military base status and the border is guarded by the Russian army. There is serious danger of mass refugees because of the civil war in Afganistan.
The existing borders are artificial and not properly delimited. Traditionally the local population does not respect border lines in their everyday activities. Tension is high in the Fergana valley and along the Tajik-Uzbek border. Uzbekistan recognises the Taliban rule in Afganistan and this factor aggravates relations between the two neighboring states. Uzbek-Tajik inter-ethnic relations could develop into a major conflict.
Azerbajan: The main issue of political life is President Aliyev’s health condition. Public debates concentrates on the issue of his successor, especially since the President’s son, Ilkhan Aliyev was elected as the leader of the pro-government party and thus acquired a legitimate perspective of assuming top power after his father.
Another major issue is the country’s initiative of joining the Council of Europe. This interests the West in order to contain Russia. Being assured of future membership in the CE, Aliyev did nothing to meet some requirements and recommendations to democratise his regime. Only after serious criticism at the time of parliamentary elections and under the pressure of Azerbajan’s candidacy being rejected did Aliyev cease his pressure on the electoral process which was a reasonably fair one.
The third factor is the radicalisation of the refugees from the Karabakh zone where the influence of Chechen war can be felt. There are also two minority groups which could radicalise political situation. The Talyshi are more inclined to open confrontation and their radical elements are in hiding in the woods. They get some support from Iran. In the case of a weakening of the central power they could start a riot. The second group is the Lezgins whose majority is well integrated into the dominant society, but here again there are radicals who speak of a problem of "divided people" (some of the Lezgins live in Dagestan).
There is one external conflict-prone factor which could influence the local situation and that is relationship of the Azeri minority in Iran with the central authorities. Azerbajan is still playing on contradiction of interests between Russia and the USA in the region. Few steps have recently been taken in favour of Russia: Azerbajan agreed with the Russian plan for the division of the Caspian Sea and the authorities are minimizing their support for Chechen fighters and Dagestani Vahhabi extremists. Aliyev is still basically oriented towards the West, but he uses his rapprochement with Russia as an argument in his negotiations with the USA.
The crucial question what will happen after Aliyev? There are several blocks of political forces. Mutalibov and his supporters maintain a pro-Russian orientation. The Mussavatists and their followers are strongly pro-Western. The Azerbajan elite do not stake their interest on Aliyev’s son but on Gumerov who lives now in the USA. Aliyev is popular now since other political figures were pushed out the country.
Session 3. Monitoring Conflict and Cohesion (MOST project)
Prof. Valery Tishkov and Dr. Valery Stepanov:
The MOST project, "Monitoring Conflict and Cohesion", enters its final stage in the year 2001. 15 books have already been published and three or four more will be published in 2001. The main task is to undertake a cross-country and cross-region quantitative analysis along major categories and to prepare a solid monograph in Russian. A MOST Discussion Paper will be prepared in English for a wider distribution among the Western audience.
The MOST methodology will be used in future in the EAWARN regular analysis and for the preparation of the EAWARN annual reports on the status of ethnic relations and conflicts in the post-Soviet states.
The 46-indicator model has been internationally recognised as an innovative tool of ethnic monitoring and policy-oriented analysis. It is widely used by other experts and policy-makers. The US-based publisher, M.E. Sharpe, has made a proposal to prepare a reference guide-book on the multiethnic regions of Russia. This proposal will be considered after the completion of the final stage.
Session 4. Managing Multi-ethnic Local Communities (IOO project)
Session 5. The host country case: The Kurd problem
Turkey -The Kurdish problem in Turkey: According to the official position there is only one nationality living in this country and that is why any references to ethnic conflicts are incorrect. Prior to the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, ethnic diversity was recognised and there were ethnic factions in the national Parliament. Later on, the one-people doctrine was introduced and the building of a modern state was based on this unifying ideological doctrine. This doctrinal shift occurred after the suppression of Armenian, Greek, and Kurdish nationalist movements and riots. Ideology and the political homogenisation practice eliminated the issue of ethnic diversity. A well-known metaphor "The Turk has no friends but a Turk" has gained ground. All this does not eliminate the reality of diversity but it has been excluded from the public language. Instead, the Turkisation policy has been pursued and reflected in the formula "one people – one state". Civic nation-building has been viewed as a progressive process of centralisation. In other countries where the same political process took place it followed political liberalisation as well. But this did not happen in Turkey.
Serious regional disparities exist in the country. Eastern Anatolia which is peopled with Kurds is particularly economically backward. The local population preserves partially feudal and clan systems of governance and social control. The power of local chiefs is important among the Kurdish population and it is not easy to subdue any centralised authority. The status of women is low. It is quite different from the modernised and basically European norms prevailing in the rest of the country. To a certain extent, the Kurdish identity was a reaction to the Turkisation policy imposed by the country’s authority. The stagnation of the political regime did not permit the development of relations between the various communities and the state. In 1925 and 1937-38 there were new Kurdish uprisings which were brutally suppressed. Here was an opportunity for the state to modernise the Kurdish communities but it was not carried out. Former clan chiefs were replaced by others without any reforms.
The State bureaucracy does not enjoy popular support in the Kurdish areas. To preserve its power it can only use control and suppression. Thus, the main problem is the problem of the democratisation of the Turkish society.
In 1965 The Kurdish Labour Party was established. It attained 15,000 members and wide popular support but it was a Stalinist-type political organization with a totalitarian structure and alien pluralism. The KLP monopolised the Kurdish movement and destroyed other organizations. Thus, both the ruling regime and the KLP usurped the right to use violence and closed the road to a democratic solution of the problem. Many Kurds had to leave the country and they filled the ranks of the protagonists of a violent scenario.
The contemporary ideology of one Turkish nation refusing to recognise cultural diversity is the ideology of extremist organizations like the "Grey Wolves" who are close to country’s military circles. Some of them sponsor the utopian idea of re-establishing the former Imperial power and this situation makes dialogue and community peace quite problematic in this country.
Session 6. The Turkish view of the Cyprus problem
Turkey - The Turkish view of the Cyprus problem: This conflict has deep historical roots both as a conflict between two major communities of the island as well as between Greek Orthodox and Islamic cultures. The contradictions between Turkey and Greece is also an important factor. There is a view that it is a conflict between two religious civilisations.
Historically, the island of Cyprus was a crossing point of four different powers and dominations: from Persian to Macedonian rule, followed by the Byzantine empire when the Greek language and Roman law gained dominant positions. In the 14th century came the Venetian rule with the introduction of the Roman-Catholic influence. The roots of contemporary conflict go back to 1517 when the Ottoman Turks conquered the island. For three centuries Cyprus was under Turkish rule and in 1914 it was taken over by the British Empire. In the 1950s the Greek Cypriots, led by Archbishop Macarios, clashed with pro-Imperial forces. The autonomy of Cyprus was officially proclaimed as the realisation of the idea of enozis (merging Cyprus with Greece). The Greek Cypriots viewed it as a guarantee of their security. It can be qualified as an internal and regional stage of the conflict.
After negotiations, an agreement between five parties was reached on the independence of Cyprus. The new Constitution of Cyprus defined three states as guarantors of its sovereignty. Federalism was the unwritten principle behind the Constitution with a second important post (vice-president) assigned to the representative of the Turkish Cypriot community. A power-sharing mechanism was called upon to restrain tension between the two major communities. However this policy has not been put into practice. Archbishop Macarios appealed to the guarantors to restrict the rights of the Turkish population. Within six months violence started which escalated till the autumn of 1963. In 1974, Turkey brought its troops onto the island which was divided into two zones geographically. The Turks from mixed settlements moved to the northern part of the island and this is the situation which still persis today.
The problem is how to re-establish the common state or, at least, to return to the system of mixed settlements. The latter has a great psychological meaning. According to the latest research, both communities mingled poorly even in the old days before the conflict. There were very few mixed marriages compared to about one million mixed families among the Turks and the Kurds. Both communities cultivate the image of animosity and education systems are very different. The Turkish propaganda contains the image of the island as a part of the homeland. Among the Greeks a similar role is played by the Orthodox Church.
Both Turkey and Greece are deeply involved in the conflict. Geography plays an important role. The island is located only 40 kilometres from Turkey and the latter views it as at least as a neutral place, not as a sphere of exclusive Greek influence. It is only since the mid 1990s when Cyprus initiated its possible joining of the European Union that the problem acquired new positive dynamics. At the same time, the Turkish sector of the island radicalised its demands of political parity and the preservation of guaranteed security on the part of Turkey. They advocate a principle of confederation.
The Greek sector of the island insists on the unitary nature of the Cypriot state with minority rights for the Turks. So there is deadlock in the conflict resolution process. In recent years, both communities became more linked to their metropolitan states and the common Cypriot identity is now practically non-existent now.
A solution is being sought at three levels: by the UN, NATO and the EU.
It is very important what is happening on the island. The Greek sector has better prospects with respect to EU membership. It has a better economic situation whereas the Turkish sector is economically isolated from the rest of the world and politically unrecognised. The economic embargo still exists in the Greek sector. There are also tourist restrictions.
There are some changes in the positions of the conflicting parties concerning membership of European structures but the real solution lies in the perspective of all three states (Turkey, Greece and Cyprus) joining the EU. In this case Turkey’s army might leave the island.
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