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Los guardianes de Alá

octubre 12, 2006

Russia Lebanon force “absurd” – rights campaigner
11 Oct 2006 15:15:11 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Christian Lowe

MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) – A human rights campaigner said on Wednesday it was “absurd” that Russia had sent troops accused of human rights abuses in their native Chechnya to join multinational forces in Lebanon.

About 50 troops from mainly Muslim Chechnya are in Lebanon to guard a force of 75 Russian army engineers, sent by Moscow as its contribution to the rebuilding effort after a war with Israel destroyed bridges and roads.

More than half the Chechen contingent are drawn from the Vostok battalion that includes former rebels who fought the Kremlin in a decade-long separatist war but later switched sides and now fight against the insurgents.

Human rights groups accuse the Vostok battalion of killing, abducting and intimidating civilians during operations to root out the insurgents, who have been driven largely underground.

“When we first heard about this possibility (of sending the Chechen troops to Lebanon) … we thought it was so absurd the government could not possibly go ahead with it,” Tatyana Lokshina of the Demos rights group told Reuters.

“This is a paramilitary unit … which practises things like kidnapping and torture,” said Lokshina, who raised the issue of abuses in Chechnya at a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in July. “Can you imagine them as peacekeepers?”

Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters late on Tuesday it had been his decision to send the Chechen troops to Lebanon. They arrived earlier this month.

“These troops … have practical experience and knowledge of what a booby trap looks like, what a homemade explosive device looks like,” he said.

“They’ve put their bodies on the line through all that. This is not something you can teach in a classroom. We are talking about the highest level of professionalism.”

Russian television pictures have shown officers of the unit — with beards and traditional Chechen skullcaps — kneeling at prayer next to their tents in Lebanon.

The Russian contingent is operating separately from the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

Officials in Chechnya said 29 of the troops despatched to Lebanon are from the Vostok battalion, which is commanded by Sulim Yamadayev.

The battalion caused an outcry in Russia in 2005 when one of its units conducted a purge of the Chechen village of Borozdinovskaya. One resident was killed and 11 disappeared.

Local media reported that troops from the battalion last month raided a meat processing plant in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second city, and intimidated the management. Plant employees told newspapers Yamadayev led the raid.

The plant was at the centre of a property row and the Chechen troops intervened on behalf of one of the parties to the dispute, media reported.

A este paso como pase algo raro Hezbollah acabará pidiendole ayuda a Israel para pacificar la zona

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One comment

  1. DON´T YOU KNOW DUMB PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DIE , HASN´T YOU READ THE HOLY BOOCK , YOU ARE THE TOWN OF GOG-MAGOG , EZEQUIEL 38, DON´T MAKE WAR AGAINTS THE TOWN OF GOD.



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