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Uncertainty over IDPs infuriates opposition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 20
The authorities have not answered the oppositional appeal concerning the IDPs eviction process intermittence for a month and nearly 1400 IDPs living in Tbilisi will be supposedly exiled from December 23.

Special warnings were given to families living at Varketili, Saburtalo, Tbilisi Sea, Kipshidze, Tashkenti Street where they had been living in unused buildings for years. Assuming that the Government of Georgia has planned to sell these properties, IDPs are opposed to being exiled to the villages of Samegrelo and Kakheti regions due to a lack of adequate living conditions there.

Georgian oppositional factions are against the governmental decision, as the leader of Georgian Party, former Ombudsman, Sozar Subari has stated, “In private talks, those people told me that if the present authorities make them leave their living places one more time, they would ask for shelter from the de facto leader of Abkhazia. If these desperate people really take such a step, I hope no one will dare to call them traitors. We will do our best not to let it come to this. “

Leader of the Conservative Party, Zviad Dzidziguri appealed to all IDPs living in Tbilisi, to protest, “90 000 IDPs live in Tbilisi, if even 10% of those people participate in the manifestation, the current problems would be settled. It could become a problem for these other IDPs in the future.”

As for the authorities' attitude concerning the issue, majority representative, Petre Tsiskarishvili has met with the IDPs and promised them to perform the mediator role between the IDPs and the Ministry of Internally Displaced People from Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia (MRA). Each of the families' issues will be discussed separately and it will be considered which families would receive compensation and which ones would be satisfied with accommodation.

Offering a slightly more detailed response was Tbilisi city hall’s majority representative, Koki Ionatamishvili in his statements, “We have already received a letter from the Ministry of Internally Displaced People from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia, on where those people would be resettled. Kakheti and Samegrelo region villages have been selected for this. The process of their establishment there will be very transparent and international organizations would take part in it. Supposedly, the process will start from December 23. “ vAs analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili told The Messenger, the authorities have chosen the period deliberately, “Firstly, the IDPs were evicted in August, it is now the Christmas period. Both periods from a diplomatic viewpoint are very quiet, as all diplomatic corps or international organizations rest in these periods. With this step, the authorities are trying to avoid the diplomatic protest.”

Analyst Gia Khukhashvili called the situation morally and judicially unacceptable, “It means that the authorities are neglecting their fundamental duty, meaning the defense of its citizen’s human rights. Herewith, it evicts the IDPs by the hand of the Ministry, which should be the most equipped body to protect those people’s interests, “Khukhashvili told The Messenger.