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S.Res. 263 (ats) Expressing the sense of the Senate that the President should [Agreed to Senate] ...

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  2d Session
S. RES. 262

   Entitled the ``Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict'' in Chechnya.



                           February 24, 2000

Mr. Wellstone submitted the following resolution; which was considered 
                             and agreed to



   Entitled the ``Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict'' in Chechnya.

Whereas the people of Chechnya are exercising the legitimate right of self-
        defense against the indiscriminate use of force by the Government of the 
        Russian Federation;
Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has used disproportionate force 
        in the bombings of civilian targets in Chechnya which has resulted in 
        the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and the displacement of 
        well over 250,000 others;
Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has refused to engage in 
        negotiations with the Chechen resistance toward a just peace and instead 
        has charged Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov with armed mutiny and 
        issued a warrant for his arrest;
Whereas Russian authorities deny access to regions in and around Chechnya by the 
        international community, including officials of the United Nations, 
        Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the 
        Council of Europe, and maintain a virtual ban on access to Chechen 
        civilians by media and international humanitarian organizations, 
        including the International Federation of the Red Cross;
Whereas these restrictions severely limited the ability of these organizations 
        to ascertain the extent of the humanitarian crisis and to provide 
        humanitarian relief;
Whereas even limited testimony and general investigation by international 
        organizations credibly report widespread looting, summary executions, 
        detentions, denial of safe passage to fleeing civilians, torture and 
        rape committed by Russian soldiers;
Whereas there are credible reports of specific atrocities committed by Russian 
        soldiers in Chechnya, including the rampages in Alkhan-Yurt where 17 
        persons were killed in December 1999 and in the Staropromyslovsky 
        district of Grozny where 44 persons were killed in December 1999, and 
        the rapes of Chechnya prisoners in the Chernokosovo detention camp;
Whereas these credible reports indicate clear violations of international human 
        rights standards and law that must be investigated, and those 
        responsible must be held accountable; and
Whereas United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson proposed 
        on February 20, 2000, the prosecution of Russian military commanders for 
        overseeing ``executions, tortures, and rapes'': Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That (a) the Senate expresses its concern over the 
conflict and humanitarian tragedy in Chechnya, and its desire for a 
peaceful resolution and durable settlement to the conflict.
    (b) It is the sense of the Senate that--
            (1) the Government of the Russian Federation--
                    (A) immediately cease its military operations in 
                Chechnya and initiate negotiations toward a just peace 
                with the leadership of the Chechen Government, 
                including President Aslan Maskhadov;
                    (B) allow into and around Chechnya international 
                missions to monitor and report on the situation there 
                and to investigate alleged atrocities and war crimes;
                    (C) allow international humanitarian agencies 
                immediate full and unimpeded access to Chechen 
                civilians, including those in refugee, detention and so 
                called ``filtration camps'' or any other facility where 
                citizens of Chechnya are detained; and
                    (D) investigate fully the atrocities committed in 
                Chechnya including those alleged in Alkhan-Yurt, and 
                Grozny, and initiate prosecutions against those 
                officers and soldiers accused; and
            (2) the President of the United States of America--
                    (A) should promote peace negotiations between the 
                Government of the Russian Federation and the leadership 
                of the Chechen Government, including President Aslan 
                Maskhadov, through third party mediation by the OSCE, 
                United Nations or other appropriate parties;
                    (B) endorse the call of the United Nations High 
                Commissioner for Human Rights for an investigation of 
                alleged war crimes committed by the Russian military in 
                Chechnya; and
                    (C) should take tangible steps to demonstrate to 
                the Government of the Russian Federation that the 
                United States strongly condemns its brutal conduct in 
                Chechnya and its unwillingness to find a just political 
                solution to the conflict in Chechnya.

Pages: 1

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