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Saakashvili: Mutineers Given Deadline to Surrender
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 May.'09 / 14:52

President Saakashvili said in a televised address to the nation that mutineers based in Mukhrovani military unit had been given a deadline to surrender.

He did not specify when the deadline would expire, but said that he had ordered the law enforcement agencies “to act appropriately.”

“The Georgian state and all the relevant structures are ready to take the most decisive steps to eradicate any attempt of undermining of constitution order, our democracy and freedom,” Saakashvili said.

“I request our citizens to keep calm and accept with understanding the action, which the Georgian state and any ruler in our history would have undertaken in a situation of this type,” he said. “We and personally me, as the President, will act responsibly before the country’s history, before the security of each citizen and before the democratic system.”

“We consider it [the mutiny] as a serious threat and serious challenge,” Saakashvili said.

He, however, also added that the mutiny at Mukhrovani was “an isolated case” and no other military units were involved. “In overall situation is under control,” he added.

He also said that the “organizers of disorders” had links with Russia.

“A group of former national guard officers and former military officers about whose links with one country’s special services we were aware of for already a long time, tried to stage disorders in the Mukhrovani base,” Saakashvili said.

He said that “disorders” at the military unit coincided with upcoming NATO military exercises in Georgia, scheduled to start on May 6 and Georgia’s joining with EU’s Eastern Partnership of EU Eastern Partnership initiative.

He also said that Russia had been increasing its military presence in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia and suggested that Russia wanted to capitalize on internal political development in Georgia, involving protest rallies, and also said that Russia hoped these protests would have grown into disorders. “But the authorities have been demonstrating extreme restraint,” he said and also thanked “all the responsible political force.”

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