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Tensions in Georgia. One dead on the demarcation line with Abkhazia

Vehicles of European observers along the administrative line (B2 archives - Credit: EUMM Georgia 2013)
Vehicles of European observers along the administrative line (Archives B2 – Credit: EUMM Georgia 2013)

(BRUSSELS2) The situation in Georgia has become tense after the fatal incident, which occurred along the “administrative line” between Abkhazia and Georgia. A man is indeed dead on Thursday (May 19) after a shooting at the Khurcha-Nabakevi crossing point (Zugdidi district).

Shooting at the demarcation line 

The information was confirmed by European observers from the EUMM Georgia observation mission. According to local witnesses contacted by European observers, it was the armed security forces of Abkhazia who fired. They would have crossed the bridge which serves as a crossing point, towards the territory administered by Tbilisi. 

Information collection in progress

European observers are on site. This mainly involves monitoring the situation, collecting information and then “ to directly inform EU institutions and Member States ". " The mission will remain on the ground as long as necessary ” one specifies at the HQ of the mission in Tbilisi.

The convening of the preventive mechanism is urgent

EUMM also asks “ urges that in-depth investigations be carried out as soon as possible ". And she calls on all parties to avoid any action that could escalate the situation. European observers have pointed out the added urgency »From« the rapid recovery of Gali's Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) (see box).

Russian responsibility

The Georgian Foreign Minister denounced, in a communicated, a " criminal act " whose " full responsibility lies with the Russian Federation (which has) the power of effective control over the region”. The incident shows “the need to establish international security mechanisms He said. 

A noticeable increase in tension for several weeks

The participants of the 66th meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Ergneti (see box), had already expressed their concern over growing tension a few days ago (May 16). They noted in particular for the April period a “ huge increase "of the number of detentions, especially" compared to the relatively small number » of arrest during the « previous period “, including during the Easter holidays. In February, Kęstutis Jankauskas, the head of the European mission recalled that " tensions are frequent and EUMM has a key role in preventing this from escalating”. Read : European presence in Georgia not superfluous (Jankauskas)

(Leonor Hubaut)

The incident prevention and resolution mechanism (IPRM)

Created in 2009, as part of the international discussions in Geneva, this mechanism allows the actors present (UN, OSCE and EUMM) to study the daily problems of the population of the occupied zones in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to serve as mediators and try to find solutions. It embraces all the effects of conflict. This can range from concrete problems - access to fields, irrigation, etc. - to more sensitive problems of detention of people caught across the demarcation lines. The IPRM currently meets only in Ergneti, on the dividing line with South Ossetia. The meetings organized in Gali, in the northwest of Georgia, on the demarcation line with Abkhazia, have not been organized since 2014.

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Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.