North Caucasus The Challenges of Integration (IV)


North Caucasus
The Challenges of Integration (IV):
Economic and Social Imperatives

Brussels: For two decades the North Caucasus conflict has been among Europe’s deadliest. Victims are less, 1,149 killed or wounded in 2013 to 525 in 2014, but risks associated with growing Islamic State (IS) influence in the insurgency are high. Leaders of the former al-Qaeda associated “Caucasus Emirate”, which has done attacks in the region and terrorism countrywide since 2007, are swearing allegiance to IS. Counter-insurgency remains heavy-handed. With Russia’s economic crisis becoming acute, conflict may be entering a new stage. Violence is often seen as feeding on religious, ethnic and historic tensions, but causes are more complex. Russian authorities and local elites must debrutalise counter-insurgency, free electoral processes, bring accountability and transparency to government, end impunity for official corruption and bureaucratic malpractice and improve services. Islamist and jihadi projects in the region largely respond to social inequality, corruption and failing social services. Addressing these issues is essential to reduce the risk of a new surge in deadly violence and insurgency.

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Continuing violence and institutional hurdles – a result of omnipresent corruption, ineffective management and unresolved land issues – are part of a vicious circle that impedes the region’s chance for healthy growth and long-term stability.
Varvara Pakhomenko, Europe & Central Asia Analyst, @Pakhomenko_V

Varvara Pakhomenko
Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

To win the ideological battle against Islamic radicals, the Russian state has to persuade North Caucasus residents that they live in and benefit from an efficient, honest, transparent and fair secular state.
Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Europe and Central Asia Project Director

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Corruption and political cronyism are huge obstacles to change. To fight it, Moscow needs to investigate more vigorously and transparently. This includes prosecuting officials of all ranks suspected of corruption, even at the federal level.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO, @JGuehenno





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