EUMM increases its presence
By Temuri Kiguradze
Wednesday, September 23The European Union Monitoring Mission [EUMM] in Georgia is strengthening its field offices by employing more people in the towns of Mtskheta, Gori and Zugdidi. According to the EUMM press service the new staff will help it respond more efficiently to the situation on the ground. Mission representatives state that the increase in office staff will result in a further concentration of staff and resources to maximise its operational effectiveness.
“The EU Monitoring Mission has made great progress since it began patrolling on 1 October last year. However, many challenges remain: the situation along the administrative boundary lines, incidents affecting the local region and the plight of Internally Displaced Persons. Due to the situation on the ground, the EUMM has decided to make changes to our field office network to further strengthen our capabilities and effectiveness to meet the operational challenges of the year ahead,” stated the head of the mission, Ambassador Hansjorg Haber, on September 18.
The EU Monitoring Mission has been working in Georgia since October 2008. Despite the fact that the mandate of the mission covers the whole of Georgia the separatist authorities and Russian troops are not allowing it to operate on the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The EUMM civilian mission has 252 staff with civilian, police and military backgrounds. Its monitors operate in teams which focus on the following three functional areas: monitoring the security regime and the safety and living conditions of the local population in the areas close to the administrative borders between Georgia and its breakaway regions, observing humanitarian and human rights compliance and monitoring Georgian military and police facilities.