CP: Statement by Ahmed Zakayev on behalf of the Government of the ChRI
Statement by Ahmed Zakayev on behalf of the Government of the ChRI
In connection with the statement of Shamil Basayev about his intention
to continue with terrorist acts against Russian citizens, I am
authorized to declare that the Government of the ChRI categorically
rejects this position and decisively condemns hostage-taking and murder
of innocent citizens.
The intentional targetting of civilians is a war crime and liable for
responsibility within the framework of the Geneva Conventions. The
circumstance that the Russian side systematically violates them cannot
be a basis for committing crimes by our side.
Retributions against Russian murderers and their accomplices among the
national traitors are an unconditional part of our struggle, but they
must be directed against the guilty and not the innocent. The Chechen
soldiers and commanders subordinated to the legal government of the ChRI
are under strict orders to limit acts of sabotage to legitimate targets
and not to participate in terrorist acts. We regret civilian losses
which can happen in the course of our operations, and we take all
measures in order to minimize them.
Shamil Basayev is naive if the believes that terror against innocent
civilians will be able to force the Russian authorities to a political
settlement. Putin is as indifferent toward the suffering of his people
as he is to the tragedy of the Chechens. The path toward peace and
independence of Chechnya lies in cooperation with the part of the
Russian society that rejects the criminal policy of its government and
wants peace. The new threats of terrorist acts don't contribute to an
advance along this path.
During the next weeks a meeting will take place in Europe between
members of the Chechen leadership and a delegation of the Soldiers'
Mothers of Russia, who have brought forward a new peace initiative. We
put serious hopes into this process, but we know that the criminal
regime in the Kremlin is preparing provocations with the purpose to
disrupt the talks. We hope that all Chechens who really want peace and
independence will apply restraint and common sense and refrain from
irresponsible activities and appearances.
A. Zakayev, London, 30.10.04
Chechenpress, the Department of Government Information, 01.11.04
[My unauthorized translation]