Dudayev peace appeals 1994-96

December 20, 1994.


President Dzhokhar Dudayev

[A selection of quotations from the many Peace Appeals addressed to world leaders and written for international media by the late President Dzhokhar Dudayev.]

1. An Appeal to the Congress of the United States of America, December 20, 1994.

'Despite the constant pressure from the Russian Federation, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria exists as a de facto independent state for more than three years.

'For the past several years the Russian Propaganda depicted Chechens as gangsters, terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists. But honest, careful analysts, journalists and writers say that Chechens in general are hard-working, peaceful nation who can be blamed only for their aspiration to freedom and democracy.'

2. International Herald Tribune, Europe, March 14, 1995.

'After an honorable career as a Soviet air force general, I was elected president of Chechnya on October 27, 1991, by a large margin from among six candidates in our first democratic elections. Elections were held for Parliament, a cabinet was put into place and a constitution was adopted based on U.S. principles.

'The mandate handed to me by the National Chechen Congress, which met in Grozny in November 1990, was to negotiate Chechen sovereignty.

'I would like to declare to the world: We are not secessionists. We are not demanding complete independence. We are not criminals.
Nor did we start this war. We have worked hard to seek out peaceful economic and political relations with the Russian Federation, consistently meeting with members of the Russian government during the past three years.

'We are a peaceful, ancient, ethnically and religiously diverse people who wish to resolve this crisis through negotiations before the cost becomes so great that democracy and reform will be lost forever in Russia and our own people will have been senselessly decimated.'

3. The Christian Science Monitor, November 1, 1995.

'In his recent address to the UN General Assembly, Pope John Paul II challenged the United Nations to protect small nations and ethnic groups who, like our country, are struggling for freedom.

'We strive for a peaceful solution to the war. In the past month I've visited Chechen villages to compile a list of the ill and wounded. In 10 months:

* More than 30,000 people have died;
* More than 2,000 people have lost limbs or eyes;
* More than 8,000 people have suffered bodily mutilation as the result of bombing, gunfire, or mines.
* More than 23,000 people are suffering from malnutrition, severe illnesses, or other life-threatening diseases.
* Massacres of children, women and the elderly have been documented by human rights activists. In Samashky last April, more than 250 people died. More than 300 are still missing.

'We ask the UN to answer the pope's challenge by sending UN observers to Chechnya. We need dialogue at the highest levels between both sides to complement the talks being mediated by the OSCE. Mr. Yeltsin, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, myself and countless others are committed to this peace process. I am willing to talk to them. This war is a tragedy not only for us but for the Russians.

'The pope challenges the UN to create a "true culture of freedom" for everyone, urging stronger nations not to dominate but to welcome and help the weaker nations. He condemned all countries who oppress minorities or breed violence and war through an "insane ideology of nationalism," saying major ethnic and religious groups have the right to self-determination. Finally, the main duty of the UN should be to protect the rights of all, including small ethnic groups such as ours.

'The UN is helping resolve the tragic events in Bosnia. Leaders of the world, please answer the pope's challenge with regard to Chechnya. We are ready.'

4. An Emergency Appeal to End the War in Chechnya. January 16, 1996.

'The cycle of violence must be stopped! What is happening right now is a human and international tragedy of the highest proportions, especially for the future of Russia and the Caucasus. I have always condemned all acts of terrorism and violence, especially those which involve human lives.

'I have always maintained a policy of restraint and insist on peaceful negotiations under multinational observation. I continue this policy, but time is running out and the situation is deteriorating. I have done everything humanly possible to restrain and diffuse terroristic, violent and provocative actions. I have done everything humanly possible to insist that the only solution will be through peaceful negotiations. I have stressed the extreme importance of multinational observations due to disinformation and manipulation campaigns which made a mockery of all former attempts to talk and of the world's belief in those attempts. The volatile atmosphere has been brewing for centuries and is now erupting with greater force than ever before. This is not an internal affair of the Caucasus or Russia, but an international one.

'I appeal to all nations to use all of their powers and resources to encourage and mediate talks between all sides before the situation spreads, creating chaos, lawlessness and further loss of life. Please hear this appeal and respond: stop the war, begin talks, let the world see what is going on. Action must begin immediately.'


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