UN Calls On Georgia And Abkhaz Separatists To Avoid Escalation After Deadly Attacks
The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) today called on the Government and Abkhaz separatists to
cooperate “to prevent any escalation” after attacks killed three Abkhaz militia members in a region where fighting
forced nearly 300,000 refugees to flee their homes14 years ago.
“The Mission condemns these and all acts of violence. It reiterates its conviction that such violence is deeply
detrimental to the interests of both sides, let alone those of the Gali residents and internally displaced persons,”
UNOMIG said in a statement, referring to the area where the three were killed.
“Previously, the two sides have cooperated across the ceasefire line on criminal and other matters. The Mission calls
upon them to work together in identifying and bringing to justice those responsible,” it added.
“It also appeals to them to engage in dialogue in order to prevent any escalation of the situation on the ground. The
Mission stands ready to assist in this respect.”
UNOMIG, which consists of some 135 uniformed personnel supported by more than 100 international civilian personnel and
182 local civilian staff, was set up in 1993 and expanded the following year after an accord ended the fighting in
Georgia’s north-western corner.
In his latest report on the dispute in October, Secretary-General Kofi Annan cited “a new and tense situation” between
the two sides, cautioned that there was no alternative to dialogue and stressed that UNOMIG remained essential for
maintaining stability in the area of conflict.
On his recommendation the Security Council extended the mission’s mandate for another six months until 15 April.