The Kodori Valley, populated mainly by Svans, was the only corner of Abkhazia under Georgian Government control before the August 2008 War. According to the Tbilisi-based Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, around 2,860 people lived in the valley before the war, all of whom fled their homes. Only 55 families have returned; Raisa Khachvani, 62, is still waiting to do so. [Read more…]
Over 200 families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Abkhazia and South Ossetia have occupied the flats of a private construction company in Tbilisi, refusing to move until the government provides them with housing. A number of neighbours protested against the IDPs, claiming they felt unsafe. [Read more…]
On 16 March, the bodies of 12 people who died during the 1992–1993 conflict in Abkhazia were returned to their families. Lika Managadze, whose father Akaki was among the dead, reflects on her memories of her father and how the war shaped the course of her life. [Read more…]
A Georgian citizen has died in detention in Abkhazia’s eastern Gali District after being arrested for ‘illegally crossing the border’. According to Abkhazian officials, 29-year-old Irakli Kvaratskhelia hanged himself at a Russian border service unit where he was taken to file documents. [Read more…]
As the issuance of new passports continues in Abkhazia, many non–ethnic Abkhaz — ethnic Armenians, Russians, Georgians, and others — fear the reason behind the new regulations is to deprive them of citizenship.
The Abkhazian human rights commissioner, Asida Shakryl, has condemned the treatment of ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia’s easternmost Gali District. A protest was held in Gali after the Abkhazian authorities closed the border with Georgian-controlled territory ‘to prevent the spread of swine flu’. [Read more…]
Thomas de Waal, senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and a prolific writer on the South Caucasus recently sat down with OC Media. He discussed democracy in Abkhazia and the international community’s role there, and the recent thaw in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
With their new peace initiative, ‘A Step to a Better Future’, Georgia’s government hopes to tempt students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to enrol in Georgian universities by letting them sit entrance exams in their ‘native language’. But for Abkhazia’s ethnic Georgians in Gali, banned from studying in Georgian there and whose Abkhaz language skills are far from native, the initiative does little to help.
In August, Abkhazia marked ten years since Russian recognition. Despite only four other states having followed suit, Abkhazians remain optimistic and blame Georgia for impeding their aspirations.
Georgia has filed a case against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for ‘wide-scale practices of harassment, detention, assault and murder on the Russian-occupied territories of Georgia’. While Georgia argued that such practices had ‘intensified since the 2008 war’ reaching a ‘critical point’ with the February killing of Archil Tatunashvili, South Ossetian officials dismissed the move as ‘an absurd propaganda action’. [Read more…]