Bzhania Cancels Moscow Trip, Appoints New ‘Acting Minister of Interior’

Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania appointed today Ruslan Azhiba as an ‘acting minister of interior,’ after Dmitri Dbar requested temporary suspension from his functions during the course of investigation into controversial September 30 incident in downtown Sokhumi, involving policemen, Abkhaz lawmaker Garri Kokaia and war veterans.

The announcement came as Bzhania returned to Abkhazia after cancelling his Moscow visit to meet heads of law enforcement agencies in Sokhumi together with ‘prime minister’ Alexander Ankvab and security council chief Sergey Shamba.

At the meeting, Dbar expressed his hopes that his deputies – that were involved in the shooting incident – will follow his lead and request temporarily suspension of their functions during the probe.

Calls have been mounting in the occupied region for Dbar and his deputies to resign for their alleged involvement into the shooting incident.

An influential group of war veterans Aruaa today called on fellow veterans to hit the streets for protest on Monday, October 4. War veteran Givi Dopua alleged that seven war veterans were beaten and thrown to the ground during their skirmish with police officers. “We barely stopped people so that there would be no lynching, Dopua asserted.

On its part, the Abkhaz ‘ministry of interior’ said earlier that lawmaker Kokaia had fired five shots in the air in the presence of passers-by, when the occupied region celebrated 28 years since victory over Georgian government forces during the 1992-1993 armed conflict in Abkhazia. He “showed obvious aggression” towards police officers, it added.

Earlier developments surrounding the incident:

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


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