About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
UN Chief’s Abkhazia Report
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 May.'09 / 11:40

In his report to the Security Council on situation in Abkhazia, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has again called for “a revised security regime” across the Abkhaz administrative border owing “erosion” of the previous one that was in force for over a decade, but undermined after the August war.

The document’s title is “Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1808 (2008), 1839 (2008) and 1866 (2009)” – it omits a traditional phrase – “Abkhazia, Georgia” used in previous reports from the title, avoiding reference to the breakaway region’s status. Moscow and Sokhumi insisted that UN can no longer use the wording “Abkhazia, Georgia” after two of its member states – Russia and Nicaragua – recognized Abkhazia’s independence.

Another instance of change of wording is absence of term “de facto” when referring to the authorities in breakaway Abkhazia. The previous reports by UN Secretary General were using the term “de factor Abkhaz authorities”; while the recent report uses term “Abkhaz authorities.”

The report, however, mentions once UN mission with its official name, as it was known for over a decade – UN Observer Mission in Georgia.

The report by UN Secretary General to the Security Council on situation in Abkhazia was released on May 18 and was made public on May 20. The document is from the series of regular reports by the Secretary General ahead of the Security Council’s discussions on the matter. The Security Council has to decide about further presence of UN observers in the region before June 15, when the current four-month mandate of observers expires. UN observers are mandate to monitor situation across the Abkhaz administrative border on the both sides of the ceasefire line and also in Kodori Gorge, located inside breakaway Abkhazia.

The Secretary General’s recommendations to the Security Council on “revised security regime” mainly replicate those which were put by Ban Ki-moon in his previous report released in early February. And those recommendations were mainly in line with the 1994 Moscow agreement on ceasefire and separation of forces from which Georgia has pulled out after the August war.

Some new elements and specifications in the recommendations involve establishment of maritime security zones, extending 12 nautical miles off the coast and 12 km on each side. In the maritime security zones, according to the recommendations, there should be no naval vessels, with the exception of up to five coast guard patrol boats, or similar light craft.

Another new element is also a proposal to provide transparent arrangements, including access and provision of information, with regard to the military installations in Senaki in Samegrelo region and Ochamchire in breakaway Abkhazia.

Giga Bokeria, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on May 18 that although there were some positive elements in the report, the part of the document referring to the proposals on new security arrangement was “weak and inadequate.”

The report, which covers the period between February, 2009 and May, 2009, describes situation in the areas under the UN observers’ monitoring mandate – Gali district, Zugdidi district and Kodori Gorge.

It says that on April 7, 8 and 11, the UN monitors observed deployment of additional Russian troops and heavy military equipment by road and railway into the Gali and Ochamchire districts. Military equipment involved two squadrons of tanks, a battery of self-propelled artillery guns, one battery of surface-to-air missile systems and two batteries of multiple launch rocket systems, according to the report. Russia explained that it was a precautionary step in case of possible provocations by the Georgian authorities to distract public attention from the protests rallies in Tbilisi. UN observers said that that additional forces were withdrawn on April 15 and April 16.

On the Georgian side of the administrative border, according to UN observers, the Georgian Interior Ministry maintained approximately 250 personnel at 15 observation posts. The report also says that the Georgian Interior Ministry continued in the reporting period to deploy Cobra light armored vehicles, “some of which were used only occasionally” to patrol areas close to the administrative border. Of 27 Cobra vehicles present in the areas adjacent to Abkhazia, two are armed with machine guns, according to the report.

UN observers, according to the report, conducted four monitoring patrols in Kodori Gorge in February, March and April.

“The overall situation in the valley was assessed as calm,” the report reads. “The Abkhaz side continued to maintain control of the Kodori valley with the support of the Russian Federation forces.”

The Russian forces in upper Kodori Gorge, according to the report, are deployed mostly between Gentsvish village, where they maintain their headquarters, and the Khida and Kalamri-Sukhi passes, which provide access to the gorge from the Georgian-controlled side.

Citing the information provided by the Abkhaz side 130 residents remained in upper Kodori Gorge. Pre-August war estimation of local population was about 2,000. Three Georgian priests and four Georgian nuns were expelled from the village of Azhara in upper Kodori Gorge on 2 April. The Abkhaz side cited the clerics’ refusal to recognize the Abkhaz jurisdiction and clerical authority as a reason behind the decision.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2018, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
30