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Kokoity offers IDPs from Akhalgori to return to their homes

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 10
The de facto South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity has offered the IDPs from Akhalgori region the opportunity to return to their homes. Speaking to Profile Magazine, Kokoity said Akhalgori was “occupied” by Georgian side and when the region went under “South Ossetian control” in August 2008 part of the Georgian population left Akhalgori district. “Now they have an opportunity to freely arrive to their villages, cultivate their pieces of land and gather harvest, however not many of them have returned,” Kokoity said.

The de facto President noted “we remember everyone who is responsible for the death of our people,” however he pointed out that “we do not hate the Georgian nation.” “I know many Georgians in Znauri region for example, who stayed here and defended their land in August 2008. Some people decided to leave and did not have blood on their hands. We want them to return and participate in the recovery process,” Kokoity stated, adding that those who return will be given equal assistance as “their Ossetian neighbours” get.

The facto South Ossetian President, Eduard Kokoity issued a special decree on abolishing Georgian normative acts in the region. The decree, signed on December 7th aims at “regulating disputable living spaces” in Akhalgori, according to the de facto South Ossetian officials.

“As a result of Georgian aggression, causing the occupation of a significant part of Leningori [Akhalgori] region, the population of Ossetian origin had to flee. Their living spaces have been either appropriated, looted, or burnt down,” de facto President’s administration stated “The President has ordered the termination of judicial power over documents issued by the Georgian government from 1991 to 2008 about living space and pieces of land on the territory of Leningori [Akhalgori] territory,” the statement says. Tbilisi has condemned Kokoity’s decree, assessing the document as “illegal.”

The de facto leader also told Profile magazine that the number of Georgians, requesting political asylum to South Ossetia “is increasing.” “I can give you a recent example – whole Georgian family from enclaves – their 11-year-old son Geno Petriashvili was kidnapped and taken to one of the regions of Georgia and kept in a hole in order to convince his father, an authoritative person, to cooperate with the Georgian security services,” Kokoity noted “the father contacted me. I ordered the South Ossetian State Defence forces to conduct a special operation on the Georgian territory and we returned the son to his family,” the de facto President said.

The Georgian Interior Ministry has denied Kokoity’s statement about holding a special operation on the Georgian territory. “The fact of which Kokoity is speaking about happened in 2007. The child was kept in one of the regions [of Georgia]. However, the special operation was held by us and the child was returned to his father. Ossetians has not held any special operations there,” Head of the Analytical Department at the Interior Ministry, Shota Utiashvili said.