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Georgia: Ban Ki-moon urges restraint following deadly incident

Georgia: Ban Ki-moon urges restraint following deadly incident

Expressing concern at reports of yesterday’s deadly incident in Georgia between units of the Ministry of the Interior and Abkhaz de facto personnel, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for restraint on all sides.

Two Abkhaz were reportedly killed and several others wounded or taken prisoner in the incident.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General called on all parties “to exercise maximum restraint and to prevent any further escalation of the situation.”

The UN Observer Mission in the country, known as UNOMIG, is currently conducting an investigation, spokesperson Michele Montas said.

In a report to the Security Council in July, Mr. Ban urged the Government and Abkhaz sides to bolster cooperation on security, economic and humanitarian issues, and noted that the parties must “redouble their efforts to avoid action that could lead to a renewal of hostilities.”

Fighting in the country 14 years ago drove nearly 300,000 people from their homes.

UNOMIG was established in August 1993 to verify compliance with the ceasefire agreement between the Government of Georgia and the Abkhaz authorities in the country. Its mandate was expanded following the signing by the parties of the 1994 Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces.

In an April resolution, the Council voted unanimously to extend UNOMIG’s mandate by six months until October.