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Georgia Marks 31 Years Since Abkhazia War

“Unjustified confrontation by both sides has cost the lives of many of our citizens – soldiers and civilians” – stated Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on the 31st anniversary of the beginning of hostilities in Abkhazia paying tribute to the memory of those who died in the war.

“Territorial conflicts and their consequences – temporary occupation of our indigenous lands, displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in their own homeland, relations with Abkhazians and Ossetians – remain the main challenge for our state and society, which can be answered only by unwavering protection of peace, restoration of trust, general and universal development of the country”- the Prime Minister stressed.

He said he believes building a peaceful, strong, and developed state with Abkhazians and Ossetians is the best perspective and a common cause. “I firmly believe that the sensible, confidence-building peace policy we have been pursuing since coming to power will bring us steadily closer to this goal,” -he added.

“It has been 31 years since the Georgian state was deprived of its indigenous land. Georgia continues to fight for its identity, freedom and progress, we continue to develop in order to soon achieve the cherished goal – to build a united, strong Georgia together with Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers and sisters,” wrote Shalva Papuashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, on Facebook.

According to him, this is the personal tragedy for thousands of people, and the “hardest reality” that we can never come to terms with.

“With peace, love and forgiveness, let us be able to heal the wounds of our homeland, walk together and build together, continue to enjoy a pleasant and dignified coexistence. This is our main national task today,”-Papuashvili stated.

According to him, “it is our duty to erase the tragic page” so that the future generations, when remembering Abkhazia, will have the joy of victory and reconstruction instead of pain, and August 14 should become a “lesson”.

The Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia Ruslan Abashidze paid tribute to the memory of those who died in the struggle for the unity of Georgia.

“Enough time has passed for the displaced community to evaluate and analyze the events of the past 31 years. The most important thing is to fully participate in the process of implementing the government’s peace policy in order to unite our community.”

“I believe that together with our Abkhazian and Ossetian friends – through joint efforts – we will be able to restore trust, coexistence based on mutual respect and build a future based on European values,” said Ruslan Abashidze.

The war in the Georgian region of Abkhazia was fought in 1992-1993 between the Abkhaz separatists, supported by Russian government forces and North Caucasus militants, on the one hand, and Georgian government forces, on the other. The war was characterized by significant and widespread human rights violations and atrocities, mostly against the  Georgian civilian population. ICRC estimate is that approximately 10000 to 15000 people were were killed (however the estimates vary, at times reaching as high as 30 thousand), and around 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced or refugees, as a result of the ethnic cleansing of Georgians. As a result of the war and following the fall of Sokhumi, which was overtaken by the separatist forces on September 27, 1993 with the help of the Russian troops, Georgia effectively lost control of the region. In 2008 Russia recognized Abkhazia as an independent state, however with an exception of a handful of countries coerced or cajoled by the Russian Federation, the international community regards Abkhazia an inseparable part of the Georgian state.

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


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