Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in Georgia

13 October 2006
Security Council

Voicing concern about fresh tensions in the long-running dispute between Georgian authorities and Abkhaz separatists, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) by another six months.

Voicing concern about fresh tensions in the long-running dispute between Georgian authorities and Abkhaz separatists, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) by another six months.

Council members, voting unanimously, also called on Secretary-General Kofi Annan to explore with both sides how they can build confidence, improve security and reduce tensions in the upper Kodori Valley and the districts of Gali and Zugdidi.

The conflict in Abkhazia began with a series of armed confrontations in mid-1992 that eventually forced nearly 300,000 people to flee their homes. Tensions rose again after an operation by Georgian special forces in the upper Kodori Valley in July this year.

The resolution, which extends UNOMIG’s mandate until 15 April next year, reiterates its earlier call on Georgia to “address seriously legitimate Abkhaz security concerns” and avoid militant rhetoric or provocative actions.

It also urges the Abkhaz leadership to tackle “the need for a dignified return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees” and to publicly reassure locals, especially in the Gali district, that their rights of residency and identity will be respected.

Stressing the importance of compliance with all relevant agreements, the resolution calls on the Georgian and Abkhaz leadership “to follow up on their expressed readiness for a meeting of their highest authorities without preconditions.”

UNOMIG was set up in August 1993 and, as of last month, has 121 military observers and 12 civilian police officers in place, as well as nearly 300 civilian staff members.

 

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