April 10 has been declared as the national day of mourning over the death of four Gali district Georgians, that drowned while swimming the Enguri River to reach Tbilisi-controlled territory from occupied Abkhazia on April 7.
Expressing condolences to the families of the deceased, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili and the Foreign Ministry said earlier that the Russian Federation, as the occupying power, is responsible for the drowning of ethnic Georgian majority Gali district residents. Kremlin-backed Abkhaz authorities have effectively closed the Enguri crossing point since late February 2020, citing COVID pandemic fears.
Critics of the Georgian Government say, on the other hand, that Tbilisi-imposed five-day COVID quarantine for arrivals from the occupied region was also to blame for the tragedy.
- Three Drown in Enguri Trying to Leave Abkhazia
- Fourth Gali Georgian Found Dead in Enguri River
- Georgian President, MFA Say Russia Responsible for Drownings in Enguri