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European observers in Georgia arrested by South Ossetians

(B2) Disturbing incident at the border with South Ossetia in Georgia on Thursday (October 24). European observers arrested by South Ossetian 'military'

An EU observer patrol near the village of Chorchana in August (credit: EUMM Georgia)

Interception by South Ossetian armed agents

« On the afternoon of October 24, a European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) patrol was briefly held by armed security officers from South Ossetia while on patrol in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area “Indicates a statement from the mission shared with B2.

Increased nervousness

This incident is a sign of a certain nervousness. We had already noticed these tensions during the summer with the establishment of a tougher physical border at certain points of the 'border' limit (read: Renewed tensions between South Ossetia and Georgia. The 'bordering' in question), precisely in the same area of ​​Chorchana.

European concern

The head of the EU mission Erik Hoeg expressed his “ deep concern " in front of this situation " where armed security agents prevent EUMM observers from carrying out their daily activities in accordance with their mandate […] in an area considered to be within the territory administered by Tbilisi, in accordance with the traditional interpretation of the administrative boundary in that area ».

Emergency line activated

After these incidents, EUMM significantly increased its patrols to support stability in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi region. The emergency hotline to Tskhinvali (seat of local government of South Ossetia) has been activated. The incident will be discussed at the technical meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) this Friday in Ergneti.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

NB: EUMM Georgia was set up in 2008 in record time, according to a Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement, in order to be a neutral observation intermediary between the forces of the pro-Russian secessionist provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. , and Georgia.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).