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…]
Ketevan Tsikhelashvili has served as Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, responsible for coordinating the country’s conflict resolution policy, since 2016. Tsikhelashvili sat down with OC Media to discuss the ministry’s successes and failures, her new peace initiative, and the barriers to and prospects for peace.
Former Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Sergey Shamba, has said that there is a need for more dialogue between Georgia and Abkhazia, and that it was time to think about a ‘common future’ as neighbours. Shamba, who served as PM from 2010–2011 as well as foreign minister from 2004-2010, made the comments in an interview published on 13 August with Echo of Moscow. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, commemorations were held in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), and elsewhere commemorating the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 War. As the presidents of three countries gathered in Tbilisi, Georgian presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili described the war as ‘recklessness, the obsessions of a deranged president, or confusing collusion with a centuries-long enemy’. [Read more…]
More than 25 years have passed since the beginning of Georgia’s armed conflicts — more than enough time for Georgian society and the political elite to assess what happened and why. It’s important that we evaluate where our progress stands in solving these conflicts, and whether we, as a country, need to reevaluate our aims and revise our policy — whether the achieved result are acceptable or not and if not, what we can change. [Read more…]
Jobs are hard to come by in Abkhazia’s eastern Gali District, according to the ethnic Georgians who predominantly make up the district’s population. They say that nepotism and discrimination, both direct and indirect, have made unemployment rife. Some go to Sukhumi to the city’s highly unsafe construction sites, while others are leaving for greener pastures.