Georgian media reports of attacks on ethnic Georgians in the Gali district is misinformation, an Abkhaz official has said.
The Georgian media reported that ethnic Georgians in the breakaway region’s Gali district were being intimidated by local Abkhaz officials and at least seven houses owned by ethnic Georgians had been burnt down.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 3 that the recent raids on Georgian villages in Gali were “aimed at intimidating the local population… thus preventing them from participating in the forthcoming presidential election.”
“The situation in the Gali district is calm ahead of the presidential election in Georgia. The population is going about their normal business and getting ready for Christmas [celebrated by Orthodox Christians on January 7],” Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, quoted Ruslan Kishmaria, the Abkhaz leader’s envoy to Gali, as saying on January 4.