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Government troops restore order in Bandza

On 5 April 1918, the government troops headed by Valiko Jugheli have clashed with rebels and by 6 April have restored order in hamlets of Bandza and Old Senaki (in Western Georgia, historical Samegrelo province), “Ertoba” (Unity) daily writes.

According to the reports the riot has started on 29 March. Getting the local recruits to move to the Ottoman front has proven difficult from the start, but finally they were assembled on that date and ready to depart. A man from a neighboring village has apparently urged them to join another joint another detachment, and – following insubordination – has forced them to render arms and arrested them. The riot followed on 30 March and the hamlet of Bandza fell into the hands of the rebels. On 1 April, Bolshevik rally was held, where the speaker falsely informed the participants, that the Bolsheviks were now in control of Trans-Caucasus parliament, while the Mensheviks were deposed. He also said, Bolsheviks took Sokhumi and Baku, and urged the participants to march jointly on Tbilisi.  The Bolshevik “peasant’s soviet” was created, which took reigns of government.

Despite their brief reign, the Bolsheviks have incensed the locals by charging them – as newspaper reports – to provide one corn-bread and head of cheese per family per day. They have also obliged the peasants to buy permissions to trade in local markets.

As the news of the government troops marching towards the rebels have spread on 4 April, the rebels have holed themselves up in Nokalakevi fortress, an ancient landmark close to Old Senaki. Thus, the main corps of Jugheli’s troops took Bandza without a fight, while another part bombarded the fortress with cannons. Part of the rebels has disbanded, and others retreated, but were pursued and defeated by Jugheli’s troops near the town of Martvili.

The order was restored in Bandza and Senaki already on 6 April. By 10 April, local recruits were headed to collection points in towns of Samtredia and New Senaki.

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