Tbilisi Marks Abkhazia War Anniversary

A somber wreath-laying ceremony was held in Tbilisi on August 14 to mark the 29th anniversary of the launch of 13-month long armed conflict in Abkhazia in 1992.

Reconciliation Minister, Tea Akhvlediani and Deputy Defense Minister, Grigol Giorgadze, as well as representatives of the legitimate government of Abkhazia laid wreaths at the memorial of Georgian fallen soldiers at the Heroes Square.

“August 14 is a grim day for us all, for the whole Georgia, for thousands of forcibly displaced persons, but most of all, for those who lost their family members and relatives in the fight for the unity of Georgia,” Tea Akhvlediani told journalists after the wreath-laying ceremony.

She said the war is “a common tragedy for both the Abkhaz and Georgians, that shall be overcome through the power of peace, reconciliation, rebuilding trust, so that such tragedy is never repeated.”

Ruslan Abashidze, Head of the Tbilisi-based Government of Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia noted that both the Abkhaz and Georgian societies will eventually come to the conclusion that the tragic developments 29 years ago were the common defeat. He expressed optimism that through a peace policy and the help of international partners “we will [achieve] deoccupation, reunification of our society again, reunification of the country.”

Abashidze further said not only ethnic Georgians are discriminated in Abkhazia, over which Russia is exercizing “effective control,” but the entire society in the occupied region is forced into assimilation.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who is touring Kakheti region today to present Georgian Dream mayoral candidates for October local elections, released a statement on Facebook to mark the date, calling it “one of the most dramatic events in the history of Georgia.”

“The citizens of our country stood on both sides of the front-line,” the Prime Minister noted, adding that he offers condolences “to the families of every deceased [citizen].”

PM Garibashvili also asserted that “historic justice will prevail and Georgia will definitely be united” and that “together with the Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers we will create a strong, develop state.”

The leadership in Tbilisi sent troops to the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia on August 14, 1992 with the stated official reason to protect the Abkhaz section of the Russian-Georgian railway. Georgian troops were forced to withdraw from Abkhazia in September 1993. 12,000 people were reportedly killed during the 13-month armed conflict.

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


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