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Tbilisi, Sokhumi Set up Commissions to Search for Missing People

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At today’s session, the Georgian government approved a provision on setting up an interagency commission to search for and rebury people who have been missing since the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia and the 2008 Russo-Georgia war.

The commission will increase the efficiency of the program on searching for and reburying the missing people, boost more coordination between the involved agencies and ensure centralized database.

Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, who will lead the commission, said that about 2,500 persons are considered missing since the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.

“Two humanitarian platforms have been functioning since 2010, under the aegis of the Red Cross: bilateral – Georgian-Abkhazian and trilateral – Georgian-Russian-South Ossetian mechanisms. 187 graves were opened in frames of these mechanisms. 178 persons have been recovered and identified and their remains have been handed over to their families,” Minister Tsikhelashvili noted.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported in March 2019 that since 2013, remains of up to 500 persons have been recovered, out of which close to 200 have been identified and handed over to their families.

Minister Tsikhelashvili also said that the government has an obligation to intensify its efforts to search for the remaining 2,300 missing persons.

“The purpose of the commission is to carry out an intensive and coordinated work, especially as the Red Cross project has been prolonged till the end of 2021 and we want to use this period as much as possible,” Tsikhelashvili added.

The interagency commission on searching for and reburying the missing has also been created in Sokhumi. At its October 23 session “the government” of occupied Abkhazia approved a provision, according to which the region’s “foreign ministry” will lead the commission.

The commission will be in charge of obtaining and analyzing information about the persons missing as a result of the 1992-1993 conflict in Abkhazia, as well as identifying graves and organizing the recovery of remains.    

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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