OSCE to Immediately Deploy 20 Monitors in ‘Areas Adjacent to S.Ossetia’

OSCE Permanent Council agreed on August 19 to immediately send 20 monitors to observe "the agreed ceasefire and support humanitarian assistance" in the South Ossetian conflict zone.

The decision, however, says that 20 monitors will be deployed to "areas adjacent to South Ossetia," but not inside South Ossetia as well.

The decision also envisages further increase of monitors up to total 100, but at some point in the future.

The OSCE press release says that "the specifics" of this further increase will be discussed in the future.

The OSCE Finnish chairmanship has requested the increase of number of monitors to 100. Russia, however, was against of their immediate deployment on the ground.

The OSCE Mission to Georgia has only eight unarmed military monitoring officers, who were in charge of monitoring of, and reporting on the ceasefire in the South Ossetian conflict zone. They had to pull out from the conflict zone after the hostilities resumed on August 7.

Consent of all 56 OSCE-member states, including of Russia, is required to take a decisions at the OSCE Permanent Council, which is the organization’s major decision-making body.

[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 19Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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