South Caucasus

Overview

NP was invited by local civil society actors in the South Caucasus to explore potential engagement in the region, starting by focusing on the human security situation in territories affected by the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia.

For more than a year, NP conducted advance out-of-region consultations with civil society representatives from the South Caucasus, as well as with regional experts. This work was followed-up with an in depth exploration in 2010, consisting of multiple field missions to Georgia Tbilisi-Administered-Terriroties and Abkhazia. This allowed over 100 individual interviews with civil society representatives, villagers, IDPs, local officials, security providers, entrepreneurs, governmental and international bodies. In October 2010, NP held a workshop consultation in Odessa (Ukraine) with representatives from South Caucasus Civil Society, most of them from Georgia TAT and Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but also from Russia and Armenia. To have a more complete assessment of the security situation and related needs in four conflict-affected districts of Georgia TAT and Abkhazia three participatory consultations were organized with residents of approximately 25 boundary and/or multi-ethnic communities, designed to assess the possibility of jointly creating security enhancement mechanisms.

In particular, NP’s exploratory mission concluded that in areas afflicted by the Georgia/Abkhaz/South Ossetia conflicts, a widespread feeling of insecurity places limits on civil society work as well as on human rights of the local population, even if actual violent attacks are rare. The atmosphere of mistrust and fear obstructs peace-building processes and could create conditions for triggers of new violent escalations.

In the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia, there are more visible risks of an imminent armed confrontation. NP hopes to conduct an exploratory mission to that part of the South Caucasus in 2012.

Findings and recommendations of the exploratory mission has been approved, and the International Governing Council has issued the mandate to initiate a South Caucasus Regional Programme. NP will therefore continue with an initial pilot deployment in Shida Kartli (Georgia TAT) and Abkhazia on a semi-permanent basis in 2012, considering a more substantial deployment after if need arises, as well as proceed with implementation of regional activities involving actors from the South Caucasus as a whole, including semi-/unrecognised entities.


NP Management with first staff of the South Caucasus Programme


NP Trainer Robert Rivers facilitating community consultations session in Georgia

Field News

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Georgian Youth Negotiate Alternatives to Violence

Nonviolent Peaceforce in the South Caucasus has trained a dozen youth living along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) between South Ossetia and Georgia in conflict resolution. The ABL is the epicenter of a lingering unresolved conflict which witnessed violent conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008.

The four-day training addressed conflict-theories on root causes and included practical exercises in analysis and resolution, human rights, human security, Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping, negotiations and dialogue skills.

Date Published: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Training Women Human Rights Defenders in the South Caucasus

Nonviolent Peaceforce in the South Caucasus trained women human rights defenders and gender equality advocates working in conflict-affected areas from across the Caucasus and South Asia.

The 6-day training of trainers, held in Tiblisi, Georgia in October 2012 was attended by 18 participants from Pakistan, Afganistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Participants learned how to effectively and meaningfully engage, influence, and mobilize for dialogues on security and peace issues at various levels nationally and regionally.

Date Published: 
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Community Protection Training in Georgia

War in the Shida Kartli region of Georgia, along the boundary line with the disputed territory of South Ossetia, in August 2008 exposed civilians there to the trauma of family members perishing, destruction of livelihoods and displacement. The local population residing in close proximity to the boundary line report feeling abandoned and permanently exposed to security risks.

Date Published: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012

Civil Society Organisations visit in Mindanao

 

“No other organization I knew of before could do the work that NP does. NP knows how to work with conflicts: it has opened the channels of communication between communities in remote areas, NGOs and armed forces, and spread confidence among all those actors”, says the Director of Society for Humanitarian Research in Baku, as he reflects upon the week he spent learning about the multi-faceted work of Nonviolent Peaceforce on the conflict-affected island of Mindanao.

Date Published: 
Monday, September 3, 2012

New Field Office to Open in Georgia

 

Nonviolent Peaceforce has started the preparatory work to open its first field office in Georgia. This will be in the village of Nikozi in the Shida Kartli region, adjacent to the disputed territory of South Ossetia.

Date Published: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2012