Conflict in Georgia Spinning Out of Control – Help Stop the Madness

NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) AUGUST 12, 2008–Russian troops have moved deep inside the country in what looks not far short of full-scale invasion, and tens of thousands of civilians are in danger, with many becoming refugees overnight.Diplomats are scrambling to find a solution, and the European Union has proposed a ceasefire and withdrawal of all forces to their previous positions. China has also called for an “Olympic Truce”, an ancient tradition that asks all countries to cease hostilities during the Olympic Games.

A humbled Georgia has agreed to the ceasefire, now French and Finnish foreign ministers are bringing the proposal to Moscow. In the next 48 hours, a massive global public outcry would show Russian and Georgian leaders that the world wants a ceasefire, and continuing the invasion would seriously damage Russia’s international reputation. Click below to sign our emergency petition and then forward this email to your friends and family. We’ll publicize the petition in the media and deliver it to the UN Security Council and Russian government:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/georgia_ceasefire_now

Russia and Georgia have a long history of tensions, but the recent hostilities were sparked over a small region called South Ossetia, which is seeking separation from Georgia. For years South Ossetia has had de facto autonomy, but after clashes between Ossete militia and Georgian troops, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the army to occupy the small province. The Russian army immediately responded by driving the Georgian army out, bombing targets, attacking towns and taking control of large swathes of territory deep within Georgia.

History teaches us that small wars easily spark larger ones. Saakashvili has applied to join NATO, angering Russian Prime Minister Putin, who may be using the invasion to forcibly remove the Georgian leader from power. If Russia tries to remove a democratically elected President by force, the conflict could escalate dangerously, as Georgia is a close ally of the United States. The Georgian and South Ossetian people could become victims of a great global contest for power in the oil rich region.

Wars get more vicious and harder to end the longer they last. The best time to stop this one is right now — let’s act now, and help make a ceasefire the first step in a peaceful, negotiated solution to the root causes of conflict in this troubled region.

With hope,

Ricken, Iain, Veronique, Graziela, Brett, Paul, Pascal, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

PS – here are some links for more information on this conflict, and a link to learn more about Avaaz campaigns:

For more information about Avaaz campaigns:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2

For more background on the conflict in Georgia:
International Crisis Group: “War in Georgia” —
http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=5623&l=1
BBC: “Georgia-Russia Conflict” — http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/europe/2008/georgia_russia_conflict/default.stm
Financial Times: “Russia is forfeiting its world standing” —
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/90c9bd3c-6805-11dd-8d3b-0000779fd18c.html

The European Union proposes a ceasefire:
Moscow Times: “Europe takes lead in bid to resolve conflict” —
http://www.moscowtimes.ru/article/600/42/369718.htm
IHT: ” Europe taking a diplomatic approach to Caucasus conflict” —
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/11/europe/diplo.php

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Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.