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27 Aug, 2008 14:03

South Ossetia vows to maintain human rights

South Ossetia president Eduard Kokoity has denied claims that Georgians are being ethnically cleansed in the territory. He said it is important to live up to the standards of an independent state and maintained that all

Kokoity added the Georgian population is protected by the Interior Ministry.

Speaking about the exchange of prisoners, he claimed that the Georgian side is reluctant to make a list-for-list exchange.

Talks about the exchange of bodies are now underway between Tskhinval and Tbilisi.

“We are ready to give all war dead to the Georgian side,” Kokoity said, “but Georgians are willing to co-operate. Trading is unacceptable in such matters. Otherwise, it’s like the Middle Ages”.

Ossetians and Abkhazians rejoice over independence

Meanwhile, huge celebrations are continuing in Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the recognition of their independent status by Russia. The euphoria remains in spite of the prospect of a long struggle to be recognised as sovereign states by the international community.

Even women have taken their firearms to celebrate and others went to show off their driving skills. People seem united as never before.

“Thank the Lord that we are finally recognised after all this bloodshed and genocide,” a local priest said.

The celebrations in both capitals are expected to last for at least a few more days.

“All Champaign and vodka is sold out. Today is a great holiday. Only one bottle remains – it’s for us to celebrate!” a saleswoman in a local shop said.

Traditional horns of wine were also dried out at the central square of Tskhinval.

The republics are now looking to an independent future following Russia's recognition of their status and are calling on the international community to recognise them as well.

To watch more about the joy in Sukhum, please follow the link