Staunton, May 25 – By his sweeping campaign of searches and arrests among Ingush who have been protesting his rule, republic head Yunus-Bek Yevkurvo is driving the Ingush protest movement underground, creating a dangerous new “hot spot” in the North Caucasus, one for which he and Moscow are to blame, according to Anton Chablin.
The analyst who specializes on the North Caucasus says that Yevkurov has not listened either to his own police who have urged him not to crack down or to human rights activists in the region, Moscow and the West who have called for negotiations. Instead, he has pursued a repressive policy designed to give quick results (svpressa.ru/society/article/233580/).
But this approach doesn’t solve anything, only drives it underground waiting for some new event to touch it off. And there are many such things that can trigger new protests. Most recently, there is the issue of the border with North Ossetia with which Ingushetia fought a war in the 1990s. No Ingush has forgotten and all will protest if Magas doesn’t stand up for them.
Said Sirazhudinov, head of the Center for Research on Global Issues and Regional Problems, concurs. Harsh measures like those Yevkurov is using “give the short-term appearance of stability but they do not solve problems. Rather, they do just the reverse. Any new event … can lead to a spontaneous sharpening of the situation.”
Meanwhile, there were two other developments on the ground likely to affect the situation In Ingushetia. On the one hand, some 300 soldiers who had been serving in Syria have returned to the republic giving Yevkurov a new strike force he may use against his opponents (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/335899/).
And on the other, Ingush Republic investigators are taking a hard line and refusing to investigate reports of torture by jailors of Ingush detainees, a refusal certain to anger their families, lawyers and friends and make it even more difficult to keep the lines of communication open between the powers that be and the protesters (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/335907/).
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