This paper presents the separate analyses of both Georgian and Abkhaz civil society experts on the need for security guarantees, the reasons why the sides have been unable to agree on them as well as barriers and opportunities for future agreements. In itself, the document reflects the achievement of Alert’s long-term engagement as a facilitator of dialogue between Georgian and Abkhaz civil society leaders. It reflects an advance in the dialogue process while contributing to the debate around security guarantees. This publication is an attempt to present a new analytical framework for dialogue to stimulate communication and debate across the conflict divide. It should be of equal interest to Georgian and Abkhaz societies, hopefully bringing the perspective of the other side into internal debates, while helping international actors with an interest in peaceful resolution of the conflict to understand Georgian and Abkhaz perspectives better.
Left unmanaged, the return of the Congolese refugees risks destabilising large parts of North Kivu, re-opening ethnic tensions and unravelling the fragile peace process. The question of refugee return is both sensitive and important, and the mandated authorities – the governments of DRC and Rwanda, plus UNHCR must assume their responsibilities. A number of measures can be taken to manage the process, and reduce the risk of conflict.
Inter-community violence and successive wars and rebellions have caused large-scale displacement of populations in the Great Lakes region of Africa. And when refugees and internally displaced people return, that can be the pretext for further outbreaks of violence. The displacement of people and also their return can often be exploited by political interests, and even if the people themselves are not being manipulated, rumours and false information can be orchestrated to heighten fears and tensions between communities. All these things are happening to some degree in the east of DRC, particularly at present in North Kivu. This short report is issued by International Alert to warn of the dangers and advocate action that should be taken.