Rebels’ leaders announce ceasefire as Prosecutor’s Office files new charges against them

PRAGUE, February 3, Caucasus Times – President Aslan Maskhadov of Ichkeria and the leader of the Chechen rebels movement has ordered all separatists forces to cease fire and stop all combat operations for a period of February as well in Chechnya as outside the republic, “Kavkaz Center”, the website of Chechen separatists reports.

Commenting on the order, Umar Hanbiyev, Aslan Maskhadov’s envoy to western countries, said the idea of unilateral cessation of military operations had been long disputed by Chechen leaders.

“The President of Ichkeria declaring cease fire has demonstrated that the resistance armed forces are not just isolated cells, the way Moscow authorities try to represent us, but remain under Maskhadov’s control as the Commander in chief,” Kavkaz Center quoted Mr. Hanbiyev as saying.

The officials of Chechnya commenting on the news have announced the move of Maskhadov was “just a mere provocation a bluff.”

“They want just to remind of themselves and pretend they allegedly have a joint command conducted by Maskhadov and Basayev,” the Chechen State Council head Taus Jabrailov said in his telephone interview with the Interfax news agency.

International and Russian human rights activists stated the negotiation with Aslan Makhadov might have helped to safe lives of many people.

Meanwhile, Nikolai Shepel, deputy Prosecutor General of Russian said in his interview with journalists Thursday the Russian Prosecutor’s Office in the North Caucasus had brought charges against Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev.

The official said the separatists leaders were charged with planning a string of terror attacks, including the summer raid in Nazran and hostage-taking in Beslan in September last year.

Caucasus Times

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