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EUMM Monitors ‘Briefly’ Detained in Chorchana-Tsnelisi Area

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The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) reported today that on the afternoon of October 24, its patrol “was briefly held by armed South Ossetian security actors, while conducting a patrol in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area.”

It also added that the hotline was activated from Tskhinvali shortly after these developments.

“The Mission is still looking into the details concerning the incident, which happened in an area understood to be on Tbilisi-Administered Territory in accordance with the traditional interpretation of the Administrative Boundary Line in that area,” EUMM reported.

The Mission also noted that following recent security developments, EUMM “has significantly increased its patrolling to support stability” in the above area.

Earlier today, EUMM Head Erik Høeg also tweeted that “today EU member states gave final approval to increase number of EUMM monitors.”

“Reinforcement will allow EUMM to increase our monitoring at South Ossetian ABL, including in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area where we are present 24/7,” he stated.

EUMM “is deeply concerned” about cases in which armed security actors prevent its monitors “from conducting their daily activities in accordance with the mandate.”

According to EUMM, the incident will be discussed during the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) technical meeting in Ergneti tomorrow.

The Georgian government constructed a police checkpoint at the edge of the occupation line, between the villages of Chorchana of Khashuri Municipality and Tsnelisi in late August.

Protesting the construction of the checkpoint, Tskhinvali representatives disrupted the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in the village of Ergneti on August 29, demanding Tbilisi to remove the checkpoint.

The situation was defused somewhat, as the decision was reached to hold the “technical meeting.” However, the parties failed to reach a consensus anyway.

In a tit-for-tat move Tskhinvali announced on September 5 that “border service” crew has started works to “mark the border” in the disputed Chorchana-Tsnelisi area, by placing “border signs” and their flag on Tbilisi-controlled territory west of Tsnelisi village on height 944.8m.

Representatives of Tbilisi, Moscow and Tskhinvali continue discussing the issue of disputable posts during technical meetings. However, on the recent 5th meeting on October 1, the sides failed again to reach any agreement.

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

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