International Court rules for protection of South Ossetian and Abkhaz civilians

The International Court of Justice has ordered Russia and Georgia to defend civilians in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The UN's highest court called on both sides to protect the population from ethnic violence.

 The court's orders are binding, but it has no way of enforcing them.

Georgia had asked the court to order Russia to protect ethnic Georgians, but the judges ruled that South Ossetian and Abkhazian civilians were also at risk.

Court President Rosalyn Higgins said ethnic Georgian, South Ossetian and Abkhazian populations remain vulnerable.