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104th IPRM Meeting Held in Ergneti

The 104th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM) meeting was held on January 20 in Ergneti village near the occupation line of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), which co-facilitated the meeting together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), stated that the participants primarily focused on ongoing arbitrary detention cases, instances of “borderization, the situation in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area as well as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on conflict-affected communities.

The co-facilitators – Head of EUMM, Marek Szczygieł and Viorel Moşanu, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus – highlighted their concern over the increased number of detentions in recent weeks, calling for a humanitarian approach to the cases.

They also voiced readiness to support efforts aimed at resuming greater freedom of movement, according to the EUMM.

Irakli Antadze of the State Security service told reporters afterward that the Kremlin-backed Tskhinvali authorities did not have a concrete response to Tbilisi’s demand for the release of arbitrarily detained Georgian citizens. “The fight will continue until each of them returns to their families,” he added.

He noted however that Tskhinvali representatives confirmed there are certain “procedures going on” for the release of the six detainees.

Antadze also touched upon the detention of Mamuka Chkhikvadze, a former Georgian serviceman, noting that based on information received from Tskhinvali as well as following the International Committee of the Red Cross’s visit today in prison, there are “are no grounds to claim” that he was possibly physically abused in custody.

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali representative Igor Kochiev on his part told RES news agency that Tskhinvali reiterated demands Tbilisi to remove the police checkpoint near the occupation line in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area.

He also added that Tskhinvali raised the issue of violations of S. Ossetian “airspace” by drones launched from Tbilisi-controlled territories, pointing accusatory fingers at anti-occupation movement Strength in Unity.

The next IPRM in Ergneti is slated for March 4.

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

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