Chechen rebels surrender

Friday, August 18, 2006

Russian Northern Caucasus

A younger brother of Chechen warlord Doku Umarov is the latest of around 120 rebels whom have surrendered in the Russian republic Chechnya alone since an amnesty was declared following last month’s killing of rebel leader Shamil Basayev.

In an attempt to capitalize on Basayev’s death and other recent successful developments in Russia’s long struggle against Chechen separatists, Russian authorities instigated an amnesty that reached out to all insurgents of the Russian North Caucasus area who would lay down their weapons in exchange for peace. Previous amnesties showed only lacklustre success but it is hoped the current situation and declining popularity of the separatist groups within Chechnya will lend this latest attempt more success. The amnesty initially valid until August 1 was later extended until September 30.

Doku Umarov however rejected the amnesty as "a hopeless attempt by the Kremlin regime to shroud the real situation [...] in lies". After the death of Shamil Basayev, Doku Umarov is considered the most influential separatist. A previous report that it was Doku Umarov himself, who had surrendered has been denied.