Chechnya peace reconstruction plan

Report
from Forum on Early Warning and Early Response
Published on 15 Feb 2002


Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION

2. THE CHECHNYA PEACE RECONSTRUCTION PLAN

2.1. LONG-TERM PEACE OBJECTIVES FOR THE REGION

2.2. OVERALL RESPONSE DIRECTIONS IDENTIFIED

2.2.1. Initiate and co-ordinate reconstruction efforts
2.2.2. Initiate a political settlement process
2.2.3. Media and transparency of reconstruction and settlement efforts
2.2.4. Ensure autonomy of Chechnya
2.2.5. Meet basic needs and protect Chechen IDPs and refugees
2.2.6. Strengthen law enforcement and the protection of rights in Chechnya

2.3. SPECIFIC RESPONSES FOR ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION AND SECURITY

2.3.1. Economic reconstruction
2.3.2. Law enforcement and the protection of rights (security)

2.4. GAPS IN CURRENT STRATEGIES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

2.4.1. Key obstacles to peace
2.4.2. Urgent preparations for peace
2.4.3. Possible solutions
2.4.4. Principles to guide a political settlement

2.5. STRATEGIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEACE RECONSTRUCTION IN CHECHNYA

2.5.1. Contextual factors
2.5.2. Dilemmas

3. CURRENT AND PAST EFFORTS IN RELATION TO THE POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION PLAN

1 . INTRODUCTION

As part of the general FEWER strategy on multi-stake-holder planning for early response, FEWER members in the Caucasus (EAWARN, Peace Mission to the Caucasus, in a joint effort with Non-Violence International), have organised a series of roundtable meetings on peace reconstruction in Chechnya.

  • The first roundtable was held in Pyatigorsk (Russia) in December 2000. Participants included leaders of Chechen communities in and around Chechnya, experts, representatives from the governments of Chechnya and neighbouring republics, representatives from Federal ministries, as well as international organisations.

  • The second roundtable was held in Lovik (Sweden) in June 2001. Participants included representatives from the government of Chechnya and Federal ministries, international organisations, bilateral donors, and non-governmental organisations.

  • The third roundtable was held in Moscow (Russia) in December 2001. Participants came from Federal ministries, Chechen government and religious movements, international organisations, bilateral donors and non-governmental organisations.

This Peace Reconstruction Plan has been prepared as a guide for donors and implementing agencies working on Chechnya. Groups that participated in its elaboration recommend that the agencies working in the region continue to participate in regular information sharing and co-ordination meetings for the enhancement of the cumulative impact of reconstruction related activities.

Three critical response issues are raised in this document:

  • The need to initiate a co-ordinated reconstruction process in Chechnya.
  • The need to strengthen law enforcement and protect the rights of the civilian population.
  • The need to start a political settlement process led by the people of Chechnya themselves.

The Peace Reconstruction Plan is a dynamic document. Although the roundtable process has now been completed, the work carried out in consultative frameworks (OCHA and PACE/State Duma) and the monitoring of implemented activities means that this document is subject to regular revisions.

This document includes two sections: (a) the Peace Reconstruction Plan; and (b) an analysis of past and on-going efforts relevant to the Plan.

2. THE CHECHNYA PEACE RECONSTRUCTION PLAN

The Peace Reconstruction Plan covers the following issues: (I) long-term peace objectives; (2) overall response directions; (3) specific response options for economic reconstruction and security; (4) gaps in current strategies and possible solutions; and (5) strategic requirements for peace reconstruction in Chechnya.

2.1. LONG-TERM PEACE OBJECTIVES FOR THE REGION

1 . Economic reconstruction (particularly access to employment and education); and

2. Strengthening the rule of law and the protection of rights;

3. A comprehensive political settlement to the conflict.

2.2. OVERALL RESPONSE DIRECTIONS IDENTIFIED

2.2.1. Initiate and co-ordinate reconstruction efforts

The long-term and complex process of reconstruction presents great challenges and it is important that peacemakers at all levels are involved. In particular, there must be co-ordination of the efforts of the Russian Presidential administration, the Russian government and legislature, the Chechen Republic administration and local authorities, and the Representative of the President in the Southern Federal District.

Reconstruction of the Chechen economy and society will be decisive in bringing stability to Chechnya and the North Caucasus. After the immediate need of humanitarian support for the Chechen population and for IDPs outside Chechnya, the priorities for the Federal centre must be funding for the reconstruction of Grozny, housing, the agricultural sector and the petroleum industries. Reconstruction must also be linked to the return of IDPs, as the revival of the Republic's economy will be dependent on their return. In addition to supporting the return of IDPs, social reconstruction must also involve instituting job-creation schemes, and health and education programmes. The commercial sector will be key to the reconstruction process, and the Russian corporate sector and Chechen entrepreneurs must be encouraged to invest in major industries and other social services. The establishment of co-ordinating bodies to facilitate investment and humanitarian support would be helpful in achieving these objectives.

2.2.2. Initiate a political settlement process

A political settlement of the problems in Chechnya is essential, and positive public commitments to ending the conflict and to the process of reconstruction will be vital if a lasting settlement is to be achieved. Critical for the settlement process are two issues:

(a) negotiations with armed separatist groups to end the violence; and (b) the definition of Chechnya's legal status within the Russian federation. This last issue cannot be a subject of negotiations with separatists - decisions on the region's status must be taken by the Chechen people themselves. Another key component of a lasting settlement will be the development of strong and representative national institutions and the conciliation of competing group interests. Democratic elections, and the legitimate authoritative power they will provide for the Republic, must be the focus of any settlement process in order to ensure a long-term resolution of this protracted conflict.

2.2.3. Media and transparency of reconstruction and settlement efforts

When the role of the media is considered, it is essential that positive and constructive policies be adopted with regard to radio and TV broadcasting in and outside of Chechnya. Broadcasts should not only represent Chechen society externally, but should be oriented to the needs of the Chechen people. Awareness-raising can be used to help consolidate and encourage peace-oriented sentiments within Chechen society, and to help dismantle anti-Chechen feeling within Russian society. Transparency regarding settlement efforts and negotiations will be key in consolidating public support for any final settlement. Media projects can play an instrumental role in supporting transparency of reconstruction and settlement efforts.

2.2.4. Ensure autonomy of Chechnya

A high degree of autonomy in the internal governance of the Chechen Republic will help to ensure its status as an autonomous region of the Russian Federation. This status would be underpinned by legal pluralism, with co-existing centralised and local legal norms, membership of international organisations and unions and other options within the framework of modern federalism. In the immediate term, power in Chechnya should be consolidated in a single structure, reporting directly to the highest Federal authorities. During this current period of special governance under the Chechen Republic administration, the formation of power structures must be developed and finalised, with an emphasis placed on the building of trust and co-operation between military and civilian structures and the strengthening of elected local self-governing bodies. In addition, tensions in inter-ethnic relations must be avoided by the enforcement of the Law on Rehabilitation of Repressed Peoples. There is a need for an official statement guaranteeing the self-determination of the Chechen people and a high level of governmental autonomy for the Chechen state within the Federation. Such a public statement would serve to assure the Chechen people that their social order and the cultural and religious traditions are preserved.

2.2.5. Meet basic needs and protect Chechen IDPs and refugees

The Security Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation should define and follow priorities for the Caucasus, taking steps to protect IDPs and refugees in the CIS countries. Those in need, either IDPs or Chechens remaining within the Republic, should be supported by targeted financial and humanitarian aid, pensions and benefits to victims of war, and return and re-integration programmes. Law and order must be upheld and the indiscriminate and unrestrained use of firepower must be stopped. Special rules and codes of conduct for soldiers and combatants in relation to the civilian population must be established and adhered to.

2.2.6. Strengthen law enforcement and the protection of rights in Chechnya

The rule of law and strong authorities are needed to achieve stability in Chechnya. Equally important are traditional institutions, people's diplomacy and the establishment of a commission on blood vengeance. The war must be made unprofitable for warring parties through the reconstruction of the Chechen economy and through the provision of effective socio-economic solutions to problems of unemployment and poverty. The judicial system must be urgently restored in order to deal with criminality within a legitimate framework, and the population must be issued with passports or ID to allow for freedom of movement. Both these initiatives would help end the practice of hostage-taking and provide for the protection of human rights and freedoms in Chechnya.

2.3. SPECIFIC RESPONSES FOR ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION AND SECURITY

2.3.1. Economic reconstruction

Objectives

  • Establish and implement a strategy and vision for the reconstruction and further development of Chechnya;
  • Restore infrastructure, social services and human resources in the Republic; and
  • Create a favourable environment for economic growth in the North Caucasus.

Recommendations
  • Implement "normalisation" projects to stabilise people's lives;
  • Support the creation of job and education opportunities in the Republic;
  • Support the voluntary reintegration of IDPs/refugees in conditions of safety;
  • Support small and medium sized enterprises and their access to markets as well as financial infrastructure;
  • Support the development of agricultural initiatives;
  • Restore basic infrastructure and social services;
  • Promote measures to ease the movement of people, goods and capital;
  • Establish and implement legal frameworks for effective economic growth; and
  • Promote access to independent and objective information.

Strategic principles
  • Adopt participatory and inclusive approaches for reconstruction efforts;
  • Carry out needs/capacity assessment surveys;
  • Focus on "quick implementation" projects;
  • Regionalise reconstruction to the North Caucasus;
  • Support and strengthen management capacities;
  • Integrate environmental considerations in reconstruction programmes;
  • Raise awareness of reconstruction activities;
  • Ensure that displaced people have a choice in their resettlement;
  • Place emphasis on youth;
  • Diversify job creation and business activities to include Chechens both in and outside of Chechnya; and
  • Establish monitoring mechanisms to ensure that reconstruction priorities are implemented.

2.3.2. Law enforcement and the protection of rights (security)

Objectives

  • Provide for the safeguarding of human rights and security of civilians;
  • Prevent the privatisation of security in Chechnya;
  • Support the construction of Chechen statehood and its institutions;
  • Dismantle the criminal war economy in the Republic; and
  • Work towards a demilitarised North Caucasus.

Recommendations
  • Address impunity and prosecute the criminal deeds of Federal forces and Chechen militants;
  • Strengthen and make adequate law enforcement agencies in the Republic;
  • Reduce incentives for violence;
  • Engage in anti-corruption activities;
  • Support the transfer of power to local civil authorities;
  • Demilitarise the civilian population;
  • Tackle "disappearances";
  • Enhance confidence between local communities and law enforcement agencies;
  • Establish and implement legal frameworks for law enforcement and the protection of rights; and
  • Improve inter-ethnic relations - also through the media.

Strategic principles
  • Work towards ending impunity;
  • Do not lose sight of the need to move the political process ahead, including the search for a political settlement;
  • Allocate necessary funds;
  • Pilot-test activities before widespread implementation; and
  • Learn from positive achievements in neighbouring regions.

2.4. GAPS IN CURRENT STRATEGIES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Whereas remedial and long-term reconstruction activities are imperative, dismantling the obstacles to peace, and preparing for peace is vital. Furthermore, principles to guide the political settlement process are needed.

2.4. I . Key obstacles to peace

  • Inappropriate use of force toward the civilian population;
  • The xenophobia that is dividing Chechens and Russians;
  • The illicit economy of war that makes the conflict profitable for different groups;
  • Impunity for those that commit atrocities and human rights abuses;
  • corruption; and
  • Distrust between the Chechen civilian population and Federal and local authorities.

2.4.2. Urgent preparations for peace
  • Reconciliation amongst Chechens, and between Chechens and Russians;
  • The restoration of economic infrastructure in the Republic;
  • The strengthening of legal and good governance structures;
  • Establishment of mechanisms to ensure the effectiveness and transparency of reconstruction efforts by the Federal and Chechen authorities; and
  • The introduction and enforcement of special rules for military and law enforcement activities in the Republic.

2.4.3. Possible solutions



2.4.4. Principles to guide a political settlement
  • Involve the organized groups of Chechen population in broad-based political consultations;
  • Enhance political coherence on tackling Chechen problems within and among: (a) Federal institutions; (b) Chechen authorities; and (c) Chechen civil society;
  • Provide clarity on and communicate the political status of Chechnya as part of the Russian Federation, and uphold the rights of Chechens as citizens of Russia; and
  • Make Federal and local Chechen authorities responsible and responsive to the Chechen population.

2.5. STRATEGIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEACE RECONSTRUCTION IN CHECHNYA

A number of contextual factors and dilemmas need to be considered for effective reconstruction in Chechnya.

2.5.1. Contextual factors

(i) The international campaign against terrorism:

  • the moderate response level of Federal authorities in Chechnya to the threat of terrorist attacks needs to be sustained; it is necessary to ensure that the rights of the civilian population are not infringed upon;
  • the initial openness by President Putin to talks on limited terms (decommissioning of weapons) has to be sustained, and the terms broadened; and
  • donor interest in Chechnya should not be sidetracked by events in Afghanistan; it is necessary to continue to provide the emergency relief to the IDPs outside Chechnya, but longer-term transitional activities and micro-level developmental projects inside the republic should be regarded as a matter of priority.

(ii) Access for humanitarian agencies to the Chechen population, and for the Chechen population to humanitarian agencies needs to be enhanced with security guarantees to the international and local members of staff.

(iii) Chechen leaders (including youth leaders) should be empowered to affect national and international reconstruction priorities.

(iv) Pockets of peace should be sustained and reinforced. The use of religious and secular leaders as guarantors of peace should be enhanced in order to expand the number of these peace zones. Reconciliation projects need to be launched in such areas.

(v) Trust has to be built between the Chechen population and authorities.

(vi) The media has to be drawn on to reduce xenophobia, prepare a climate for settlement, and enhance transparency in settlement and reconstruction efforts.

(vii) Leaders of local administrations, and moderate Chechen leaders have to be protected by law enforcement and security agencies.

(viii) A reduction in the availability of small arms, and the destruction of mines and unexploded ordinances is critical.

2.5.2. Dilemmas

(i) Who should be involved in settlement talks given the multiplicity of actors, aversion to groups involved in atrocities, and the need to manage spoilers?

(ii) How should the local fall-out of the international anti-terrorism campaign be managed?

  • With the dry up of external support for extremist groups, kidnapping and ransoming may again become the main fund-raising basis for extremist groups.

(iii) How to demilitarize the Republic when people need weapons for protection?

(iv) How can the tension between the need for political stability during a normalization period be reconciled with the need for elections and a legitimate Chechen government?

(v) How can on-going local level negotiations be built upon and their success be protected?

(vi) Assuming that reconstruction will not occur on a massive scale, how can the use of available resources be maximized?

(vii) What political, economic and social measures be implemented to safeguard the success and sustainability of any settlement?

3. CURRENT AND PAST EFFORTS IN RELATION TO THE POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION PLAN

This section provides a brief analysis of how the projects implemented in the region correspond to the Response Directions identified in the Plan. Basic conclusions can be drawn from lists of projects undertaken in the area outlined in the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal and reports from the Russian Government.

The donor response to the The UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the Northern Caucasus (Russian Federation) has been uneven. First, there was a downward trend in donor interest, reflecting changing donor priorities. Second, because the agriculture and economic recovery sectors did not receive any support, projects in these sectors were not implemented in 2001. While the survival of population was not affected by this, the projects planned under these sectors could have played an important role in providing civilians in need with alternative means of subsistence, and provided in some measure a basis for temporary in gration thereby reducing tensions and lowering reliance on humanitarian assistance 1. The 2002 Appeal seeks $31,946,549: including $780,000 for projects on economic recovery and infrastructure, $2,268,271 on protection/human rights/rule of law, and $1,118,500 on agriculture, addressing the above concern.

A brief analysis of how the projects implemented in the region correspond to the Response Directions identified in the Plan follows below:

The UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the North Caucasus (Russian Federation) spent a total of $37,871,324 (as of 5 February 2002) on 30 projects in the region in 2001. Of these, 24 projects (89,44% of funds) focused on providing humanitarian aid for civilians, IDPs or refugees, addressing Response Direction 5. Only I project (2,5%) addressed Response Direction 3 aiming to optimise coordination between humanitarian actors in the region, 2 (3%) focused on Security (Response Direction 6) and 4 (5,5%) - addressed Response Direction 1, instituting job-creation schemes and educational programmes.




Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Northern Caucasus (Russian Federation) was $41,962,547 (as of December 2001). Of the 62 projects, four with 4,6% of the total funds spent, addressed Response Direction 1, job creation and education schemes. Only one project (0,04%) addressed the Response Direction 3, Media and transparency of reconstruction and settlement efforts. The rest of the projects addressed Response Direction 5 Providing humanitarian aid for civilians, IDPs or refugees, accounting 95,4% of the funds spent.


The 3rd graph demonstrates, that funding in the North Caucasus is predominantly focused on projects aimed to meet the basic needs of civilians, IDPs and refugees (92,5% of funds). Only few projects were oriented on job creation and educational schemes (5,2%) addressing Response Direction 1, Transparency regarding settlement efforts - Response Direction 3 (1,2% of the total funds spent); and Security, addressing Response Direction 6 (1,1 % of the total funds spent).

Response Direction 2 (Initiate a Political Settlement Process) and Response Direction 4 (Ensure the Autonomy of Chechnya) were not addressed by any of the projects analysed




The government of Russia is implementing the Programme on Restoring the Economy and the social Sector of the Chechen Republic, approved on 25 January 2001 with a total budget of 14.4 billion roubles ($496,5 million) of which $155,1 million was allocated from the federal budget and the rest was to come from ofl~budget sources. According to the Foreign Ministry Press and Information Department 2, 2 billion roubles ($68,9 million) of budgetary funds has been transferred in early 2001 with another 1,5 billion roubles ($51,7 million) allocated in August-September 2001. A federal state unitary enterprise Directorate for Construction and Rehabilitation Works in the Chechen Republic has been established within the State Committee for Construction (Gosstroi) of Russia. On 23 August 2001, the government endorsed a similar support programme for 2002 and subsequent years. The governmental programme addressed mostly the economic reconstruction, transportation, fuel and energy, as well as the communications sector. Important progress was also reached in restoring the educational system (447 schools, 3 higher education colleges and 12 professional vocational schools began operation) and public health system (53 hospitals, 32 polyclinics, 46 doctor's outpatient clinics and 175 medical assistant-obstetrician stations were set up). The programme is addressing also the media sector in Chechnya. The newspaper circulation ranges from 3,000 to 10,000 copies (I republic wide newspaper and 10 district newspapers), whereas television covers approximately 70% of the territory and 80% of the population of Chechnya at present.

The Russian Prosecutor General's office has opened 293 probes of crimes committed against the civilian population during the 1999-2001 counter-terrorist operation in the Chechen Republic. An investigation, however, is being conducted only on 179 cases and 57 cases have reached a pre-trial stage. So far, 11 servicemen have been found guilty and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment.

Programmes under UN Inter-Agency Appeal and the government of the Russian Federation cover all response directions outlined in this Post-conflict Reconstruction Plan, however, very little or no progress was achieved on the following directions due to the lack of political will, lack of coordination on programme design and implementation or insufficient allocation of resources:

  • Transitional and developmental activities including income-generating projects in non-agricultural sectors;
  • Political settlement through negotiated agreements with groups of combatants on: (a) decommissioning of weapons; and (b) reintegration/emigration based on an amnesty for combatants who have not committed war crimes. Furthermore, settlement has to involve the participation o f the Chechen population in broad-based political consultations;
  • Security sector reform involving gradual transfer of policing functions to local Chechen militias controlled by the regional administrations and abandoning the mop-up operation strategies that bring about serious violations of human rights;
  • Establishment o f mechanisms to ensure the effectiveness and transparency o f reconstruction efforts by the Federal and Chechen authorities; and the introduction and enforcement o f special rules for military and law enforcement activities in the Republic,
  • Resolving the problem of access to the population of Chechnya by humanitarian relief providers with guarantees o f personnel security.

Total humanitarian assistance in response to the 2001 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the Northern Caucasus (January 2001-December 2001) was $71,648,177. The total amount of contributions outside the frameworks of the Appeal, therefore, was $36,342,901. The key donors and channels through which the contributions were made are represented in the table and graphs below:

Compiled by OCHA on the basis of information provided by the respective donors


NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

ICRC (Pie chart)

ICRC (Standard Chart)

BI-LATERAL PROGRAMMES


Footnotes:

1 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the Northern Caucasus 2002. United Nations. New York and Geneva, November 2001, p.4

2 RF Foreign Ministry Report on the situation in the Republic of Chechnya. Press and Information Department, Moscow 29.08.2001