Centre for OSCE Research

Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)

Mission Information Package South Caucasus

By Dr. Frank Evers

October 2003

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Caucasus and Its Separate South

Chapter One: Main Conflict Potentials in the South Caucasus

Chapter Two: The Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (Dagliq Garabakh, Artsakh)

Chapter Three: Conflicts and Security Threats in the Republic of Georgia

Chapter Four: Main Foreign Interests and Further Conflict Potentials in the South Caucasus

Chapter Five: Armenia in Brief Chapter Six Azerbaijan in Brief

Chapter Seven: Georgia in Brief

Chapter Eight: OSCE Operations in the South Caucasus

Chapter Nine: UN, CIS and Joint Peacekeeping Operations in Georgia

Chapter Ten: International Organisations’ Activities in the South Caucasus

Further Web Addresses: Websites of Institutions and Services Reporting on or Discussing South Caucasus Affairs

This Mission Information Package (MIP) on the South Caucasus is the second in a series of induction papers for incoming members of the OSCE, UN and other international field missions. Its purpose is to provide essential background information on the region and international field endeavours in a concise and user-friendly format.

The MIP includes:

– Basic country information on Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

– A brief history and concise analysis of regional conflicts and conflict potentials in the South Caucasus

– A comprehensive overview of foreign interests in South Caucasus affairs

– A comprehensive overview of international organizations that are involved in conflict management and development co-operation in the region

– References to relevant Internet resources.

The MIP aims to offer the reader an academic synthesis of the vast literature available and to present it in a cogent, digestible and applicable form. As mentioned, it is to provide a compact source of information for members of international field activities in the region. It is also meant to be used by the participants in international peace mission training courses that are organized by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Likewise, it is hoped that the package will be of interest to officials of other international organizations, NGOs and governmental agencies as well as students and academics interested in this subject.

As part of a series of information packages, this MIP has been prepared by the Centre for OSCE Research (CORE Hamburg) with the financial assistance of the OSCE Desk of the German MFA.

CORE wishes to express its acknowledgment and appreciation to the German MFA as well as the OSCE Headquarters, the OSCE and other international field operations in the South Caucasus for their courtesy and significant support.

The MIP covers the main political events in the South Caucasus until late 2002 and early 2003. It is divided into ten main parts.

Following a short Introduction on the Caucasus and its separate South, Chapter One gives an overview on the main conflict potentials in the region.

Chapters Two and Three focus on the three South Caucasus countries themselves, providing a history of national and regional events and conflicts. In particular, the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan and especially the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are highlighted. Also, an introduction is given on conflicts and conflict potentials in a number of provinces of Georgia, namely Abkhazia (Georgia’s north-west); South Ossetia (north); Ajaria (south-west); Javakheti (south), mainly populated by ethnic Armenians; Samegrelo (west); the Pankisi Gorge (north-east), populated by ethnic Chechens; as well as the district of Marneuli (south-east), considerably populated by ethnic Azeri. An attempt to reflect the specific security relevance these entities and sites have determines the order in which they are presented.

Chapter Four provides information on the various international players and their interests in the South Caucasus. Chapters Five through Seven give three brief country overviews on Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Chapters Eight and Nine provide information on the OSCE, UN and CIS peacekeeping activities and other engagements in the South Caucasus. Chapter Ten gives a general idea on other international organizations’ activities.

The information contained in this paper does not necessarily reflect the views of the German MFA, the OSCE or any other organizations mentioned. Equally, reference to geographical names or boundaries does not automatically imply political, legal or other recognition or endorsement.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the permission in writing of the Centre for OSCE Research (CORE). Any citations from the MIP should indicate the source.

This Mission Information Package on the South Caucasus has been produced by Dr. Frank Evers. He wishes to express his profound gratitude to his colleagues (in alphabetic order): Ruzanna Baghdasaryan, Kim Bennett, Katri Kemppainen, Marietta König, Anna Kreikemeyer, Guenaj Rsajewa and Veronica Trespalacios for their advice and indispensable assistance.

The information covered here is subject to continual revision. The Centre for OSCE Research (CORE) would highly appreciate any feedback and suggestions from our readers.

Please address comments to:

Dr. Frank Evers C

ORE – Centre for OSCE Research, Falkenstein 1, D-22587 Hamburg.


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