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Security Council to Discuss Abkhazia and South Ossetia Today

georgia.jpg

Tensions are mounting between Russia and Georgia. Last week, Georgia accused Russia of shooting down an unmanned spy drone over Abkhazia — a Georgian province with a large separatist movement backed by Russia. Georgia even released a video of the incident, which they say proves Russian MIGs violated Georgian airspace.

The Security Council will take up the matter today, but don’t expect too much to come out of the closed-door meeting. Russia’s increased activity in Abkhazia and South Ossetia follows predictably from the western decision to back Kosovo’s independence. This is merely the other shoe dropping. I doubt shooting down an unmanned spy drone is all Russia has in store for the region.

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Security Council to Discuss Abkhazia and South Ossetia Today

georgia.jpg

Tensions are mounting between Russia and Georgia. Last week, Georgia accused Russia of shooting down an unmanned spy drone over Abkhazia — a Georgian province with a large separatist movement backed by Russia. Georgia even released a video of the incident, which they say proves Russian MIGs violated Georgian airspace.

The Security Council will take up the matter today, but don’t expect too much to come out of the closed-door meeting. Russia’s increased activity in Abkhazia and South Ossetia follows predictably from the western decision to back Kosovo’s independence. This is merely the other shoe dropping. I doubt shooting down an unmanned spy drone is all Russia has in store for the region.

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Tuesday Morning Coffee

Top Stories

>>Georgia – Yesterday Georgia accused Russia of violating its airspace with a MIG jet to shoot down a reconnaissance drone over Abkhazia. Russia denied the claim, saying that the drone violated UN ceasefire resolutions and was shot down by separatists. Georgia has video. Last week, Russia expanded relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, ratcheting up tensions.

>>Sudan – A census that is seen as an integral step toward holding democratic elections in 2009 has begun in Khartoum. The census will also help determine the distribution of Sudan’s oil revenues. Many in the south and in Darfur fear that the massive amounts of internal displacement will skew the results; insecurity will as well. President al-Bashir was the first counted. The United Nations is assisting Sudan’s government with this process.

>>Hamas – In a speech in Jerusalem capping his controversial nine-day visit, Jimmy Carter said that Hamas is willing to accept Israel’s right to exist as a “neighbor, next door, in peace” if a peace deal is accepted by Palestinians. They also said that they would allow kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shilat to send a letter to his parents and accept an interim ceasefire in Gaza. Israeli officials expressed doubt about Carter’s ability to follow through on the agreements and called his meeting with top Hamas officials “a disgrace.”

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Tuesday Morning Coffee

Top Stories

>>Georgia – Yesterday Georgia accused Russia of violating its airspace with a MIG jet to shoot down a reconnaissance drone over Abkhazia. Russia denied the claim, saying that the drone violated UN ceasefire resolutions and was shot down by separatists. Georgia has video. Last week, Russia expanded relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, ratcheting up tensions.

>>Sudan – A census that is seen as an integral step toward holding democratic elections in 2009 has begun in Khartoum. The census will also help determine the distribution of Sudan’s oil revenues. Many in the south and in Darfur fear that the massive amounts of internal displacement will skew the results; insecurity will as well. President al-Bashir was the first counted. The United Nations is assisting Sudan’s government with this process.

>>Hamas – In a speech in Jerusalem capping his controversial nine-day visit, Jimmy Carter said that Hamas is willing to accept Israel’s right to exist as a “neighbor, next door, in peace” if a peace deal is accepted by Palestinians. They also said that they would allow kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shilat to send a letter to his parents and accept an interim ceasefire in Gaza. Israeli officials expressed doubt about Carter’s ability to follow through on the agreements and called his meeting with top Hamas officials “a disgrace.”

Yesterday in UN Dispatch

The Rest of the Story


Africa

Americas

Asia

Europe

Middle East

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Are we getting results?

Even as we discuss the logistical, manpower, and financial pressures on DPKO, I hope we do not leave aside the question of what precisely the international community is getting for its (admittedly modest) investment in peacekeeping. Is the current crop of missions producing political and humanitarian results? The UN, of course, endured intense soul searching during the 1990s about the efficacy of peacekeeping in the wake of the Bosnia and Rwanda missions. Today’s missions are far less scrutinized but I suspect that has more to do with a distracted media than it does an easing of the operational dilemmas facing peacekeepers in the field.

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Are we getting results?

Even as we discuss the logistical, manpower, and financial pressures on DPKO, I hope we do not leave aside the question of what precisely the international community is getting for its (admittedly modest) investment in peacekeeping. Is the current crop of missions producing political and humanitarian results? The UN, of course, endured intense soul searching during the 1990s about the efficacy of peacekeeping in the wake of the Bosnia and Rwanda missions. Today’s missions are far less scrutinized but I suspect that has more to do with a distracted media than it does an easing of the operational dilemmas facing peacekeepers in the field.

| Leave a comment

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