Monday, July 9, 2018

No One Asked North Caucasians about Possible Resettlement of South African Boers in Their Land

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 8 – Moscow’s plans to resettle some or all of approximately 15,000 Boers from South Africa in the North Caucasus has infuriated residents of that region for three reasons, experts say. First of all, the Christian Boers have no links to the region and would not fit into the predominantly Muslim communities there.

            Second, no one from the center bothered to ask the opinions of the local nations, highlighting the extent to which they remain objects of Moscow’s policies rather than subjects in their own right. And third, Moscow’s readiness to resettle Christian Boers there has highlighted its unwillingness to resettle the Muslim Circassians from Syria in their own historical homeland.

            For all these reasons, Zarema Khasanova of the OnKavkaz portal says, “the resettlement of Dutch colonists from Africa is leading to the deterioration of relations among nationalities” in the North Caucasus and to increasing hostility toward Moscow (

            The first party of Boers has arrived in Stavropol, and its members say that they plan to reconnoiters the situation in Karachayevo-Cherkessia first and then explore the possibilities in other North Caucasus republics as well as Crimea, the Kuban and Rostov Oblast, Khasanova reports.  They have shown particular interest in cultivating ties with Cossack groups.

            Prominent regional journalist Anton Chablin and two other local experts warn that if Moscow goes ahead with this plan to insert these outsiders into the North Caucasus, this will lead to problems far greater than any it can imagine.  (For background on the Boer project, see

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