A peaceful public campaign with the goal “of getting rid of Eduard Kokoity,” the secessionist South Ossetian leader, has been launched, Vladimir Sanakoev, a spokesman for the Tbilisi-backed South Ossetian provisional administration, said on August 5.
In a tough-worded announcement, Vladimir Sanakoev, said the campaign under the name "Kokoity Fandarast", meaning Godspeed in Ossetian, would also involve residents of Tskhinvali and secessionist-controlled parts of South Ossetia.
“We all understand that the rhetoric of the Tskhinvali regime about South Ossetia’s independence is an illusion,” Vladimir Sanakoev said. “People living in Tskhinvali also understand this, but they are afraid to speak out.”
The campaign will be held under the aegis of the People of South Ossetia for Peace movement – an organization set up by Dimitri Sanakoev in March before he was appointed head of the provisional administration.
The campaign was launched by Vladimir Sanakoev outside the recently opened Center of Ossetian Culture and Art. As he spoke to Georgian TV, which ran his speech live, campaign activists in yellow t-shirts, waving flags bearing the campaign symbol, could be seen in the background.
A black exclamation mark - ! - set in a white triangle with a red border - similar to a traffic warning sign – is the symbol of the campaign.
With this symbol, Vladimir Sanakoev said, the campaign wanted to send a warning to Eduard Kokoity that “it is high time to put an end to his tyranny.”
He said South Ossetia was ruled by officials who had been installed in Tskhinvali by Russia and the only way to free South Ossetia from these people was “to get rid of Kokoity himself.”
“Kokoity is a murderer of South Ossetia’s future,” Vladimir Sanakoev said, “and we will not stop our peaceful actions until we reach our goal.”
Plans for the campaign were first announced last month after a conference of Ossetian community which was held in the Georgian-administered Tamarasheni village in the conflict zone on July 22.
The campaign is in line with comments made by President Saakashvili in early July. He said that “people power,” involving giving voice to ordinary people, could be the key to resolving the South Ossetian conflict.