Joint Control Commission urges surrender of illegal arms

The Joint Control Commission (JCC) on Thursday, May 29, issued an appeal to the people from both banks of the Nistru that live in the so-called Security Zone, urging them to voluntarily surrender the illegal arms and ammunition obtained during the 1992 armed conflict, Info-Prim Neo reports. The document is the result of one and a half year of negotiations and aims to reduce the risks of serious consequences associated with the uncontrolled circulation of weaponry in the security zone. The JCC assures the people living in the security zone that they will be exonerated from criminal, administrative and any other kinds of legal responsibility if they agree to surrender the illegal arms they possess. The methods of enforcing the surrender are to be adopted at a future JCC meeting. “This act is a step forward in building confidence among parties”, said Gen. Ion Solonenco, co-chairing the JCC on behalf of Moldova. The Thursday's meeting of the Control Commission fell on the UN Peacekeeper Day, which was celebrated in Varnita, the place where the Moldovan peacekeepers are stationed. The event was attended by Ukrainian observers and OSCE representatives, while the Transnistrian and the Russian delegations to the JCC refused the invitation, arguing the peacekeeping mission on the Nistru had nothing in common with the UN. The Russian and Transnistrian peacekeepers observe the Peacekeeper's Day later in July. “Our peacekeeping mission is not conducted under the aegis of the United Nations. Had it been so, this place would have become a second Kosovo”, Russia's JCC delegate Victor Shanin was quoted by Transnistria's “Olvia-press” as saying. The peacekeeping forces deployed in the security zone under a Moldovan-Russian ceasefire agreement of 1992 include military units of Moldova, Russia and the Transnistrian region. Their activity is regulated by the JCC, composed of representatives of Moldova, Russia and Transnistria and of Ukrainian and OSCE observers that make decisions by consensus.

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