The national flags are lowered to half-mast at Government buildings as Georgia commemorates the 28th anniversary of the fall of Sokhumi on September 27, 1993, which marked the end of armed conflict in Abkhazia in 1992-1993.
To honor the victims of the conflict, Georgian officials, including Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the Cabinet Ministers, opposition leaders, members of the public have paid tributes at the memorial of the fallen Georgian soldiers on Tbilisi’s Heroes Square.
After the wreath-laying ceremony, Reconciliation Minister Tea Akhvlediani underscored the day symbolizes the “immeasurable” pain and grief of hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes in Abkhazia in 1993.
“We should continue with the peace process together, in the selfless spirit of our fallen heroes, with persistent work and fortified efforts to reconcile our people and achieve the common well-being of Abkhaz and Georgian people in a common, strong, European state,” she said.
Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze said “it is our generation’s obligation” to ensure that all future generations know that Georgia’s territories are occupied. “Every generation, no matter how much time passes, has to fight against and should not tolerate the occupation,” he added.
Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava remarked that it was critical to educate the future generation “the right way” about this “very tragic day” in Georgia’s modern history. “Above all, it is the restoration of trust and brotherhood with which we will be able to unite our country,” he added.
PM Garibashvili, who did not comment with the reporters, said in a social media post earlier today that “I believe we have the power to overcome the grave results of war, and work for a common future of the Abkhaz and the Georgians, peace and welfare.”
Tbilisi dispatched troops to the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia in summer 1992 to protect the Abkhazia section of the Russian-Georgian railway.
The government troops were forced to withdraw from the region in September 1993, following the attack on Sokhumi on September 16, 1993, by Abkhaz militants and mercenaries from the Russian Federation. The attack has occurred in violation of the July 27 ceasefire that implied the withdrawal of heavy Georgian weaponry from Sokhumi and its surroundings.
September 27 is associated in Georgia with the loss of control over Abkhazia and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians that occurred in that region. Reportedly, more than 12,000 people died during the armed conflict. Around 300,000 remain displaced.