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44th meeting of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism takes place in Ergneti

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, April 30
On April 28, 2014 the 44th meeting under the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place in Ergneti,and was co-facilitated by Toivo Klaar, the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), and Ambassador Angelo Gnaedinger, the OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus.

Participants reviewed the security situation and the detention cases that have occurred since the last meeting on March 21. The effective use of the hotline in resolving specific issues, such as releasing detained journalists before Easter, was much welcomed.

Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Analytical Department, Gocha Ratiani, said that first of all, the Georgian side protested the arrests of the journalists, as well as other detentions, which were carried out lately.

“The issue of the people who are currently detained in the prisons of Tskhinvali will also be raised. In addition, we will discuss the water communication problem in the village of Koshka,” Ratiani said before the meeting.

The South Ossetian side did not make any comments. However, the de-facto government of South Ossetia demanded the release of those accused in the Gori terrorist attacks in exchange for the Georgians detained in Tskhinvali prison.

Ratiani noted that this issue cannot be solved easily and a number of details still needed to be discussed. At Monday’s meeting, the Georgian side also offered an initiative to the Ossetians about a new mailing mechanism.

Meanwhile, just before the meeting, two Georgian citizens were detained by Russian border guards, while conflict resolution experts discussed issues that are plaguing the troubled region.

Various other topics related to the livelihood of local communities, such as access to agricultural land, were discussed in detail. Discussions continued on the co-facilitators’ proposal on common practices, when security actors encounter each other while patrolling.

IPRM was established in February 2009 as a result of the Geneva Discussions that followed the 2008 conflict in Georgia under the Geneva International Discussions, which are co-chaired by the OSCE, the EU and the UN.

The meetings are an opportunity to identify and discuss potential risks, and the follow-up of incidents and issues affecting the communities on a daily basis.

The next IPRM meeting will take place on June 3.