Apr 15, 2008

Abkhazia: Back On the UN Table

Sample ImageThe UN Security Council is meeting to discuss an extension to the UNOMIG mandate in the Caucasus amid hopes for a resumption of peace talks.

Below is an article published by RIA Novosti:

The UN Security Council will hold consultations on Monday [21 April 2008] to discuss the situation in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone.

The discussion will be held to discuss extending the mandate on the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), which expires on Tuesday [22 April 2008]. The Security Council members will also discuss a recent report by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, delivered on April 4 [2008].

In his report, the Secretary General recommended that the peacekeeping mandate be extended for another six months, until October 15 [2008]. He also expressed hopes that peace talks between Georgia and Abkhazia will resume.

"A period of sustained stability along the ceasefire line and in the Kodori Valley would improve the prospect of repairing the much deteriorated relationship between the two sides," the report says.

During his visit to Moscow last week [Week 15, 2008], Ban Ki-moon told journalists that the international organization would continue its efforts to ease tensions between Georgia and its breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Peacekeeping in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone is currently carried out by a collective CIS force made up of Russian service personnel.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has repeatedly called for changes to be made to the peacekeeping arrangement in the country's conflict zone with […] Abkhazia, and asked for the peacekeepers to be replaced by an international force. The Georgian leader said Russia is not a mediator in the conflict, but is a party to the conflict.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Tbilisi accuses Moscow of backing separatism in the region, but Moscow dismisses the accusations.