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The News in Brief

Friday, August 15
Georgia marks 22 years since Abkhazia conflict

Georgia is commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the Abkhazia war, which after the clash saw Abkhazia become a breakaway region of Georgia.The confrontation started on August 14, 1992, and lasted for 403 days. It was one of many conflicts precipitated by the breakup of the Soviet Union and was one of the bloodiest, most consequential and most unresolved battles of the time.During the 1992-93 conflict, tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers lost their lives and about 300,000 people were displaced.The Abkhazia war was waged mainly between Georgian government forces on one side and Abkhaz separatist forces on the other, who fought for independence of Abkhazia from Georgia, supported by Russian armed forces and North Caucasian hired fighters.On the first day of the war, Georgian police and National Guard units were dispatched to restore governmental control over Abkhazia. The ranks of Georgian troops were filled partially by "emptying the jails" as some inmates were released on the condition they fight in Abkhazia.Handling of this conflict was aggravated by civil strife in Georgia between supporters of the ousted Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia and the post-coup government headed by the late Eduard Shevardnadze, as well as the Georgian–Ossetian conflict.Significant human rights violations and atrocities were reported on all sides and peaked in the aftermath of the Abkhaz capture of Sukhumi on September 27, 1993, which was followed by a large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing against the ethnic Georgian population, according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).The United Nations Secretary General fact-finding mission reported numerous and serious human rights violations were committed by both sides.Between 13,000 and 20,000 ethnic Georgians and approximately 3,000 Abkhaz were reported to be killed, more than 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced or refugees and 2,000 were considered missing.Post-Soviet Georgia was heavily affected by the war and suffered considerable financial, human and psychological damage. Abkhazia has been devastated by the war and subsequently, sporadic conflict continued.As a result of the war, Georgia effectively lost control over Abkhazia and the region established itself as a de-facto independent territory.Relations between Russia and Abkhazia improved in the late 1990s and the economic blockade of Abkhazia was lifted.Laws were also passed allowing other countries to become part of the Russian Federation, which was interpreted by some as an offer to Abkhazia and other unrecognised countries of the former Soviet Union.This dispute persisted without major incident as a frozen conflict until 2008, when a large-scale Russian military intervention invaded Georgia, which re-ignited hostilities and led to Moscow’s unilateral recognition of Abkhazia as an independent state. (

Yazidis in Tbilisi call on the world to stop ISIS

‘Stop ISIS’ was the slogan of a rally organized by the Yazidi community in Tbilisi as a show of solidarity with their besieged countrymen in Iraq, who suffer from ruthless savagery by the terrorists from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There is an almost 20,000 strong Yazidi community in Georgia, 90 percent of them have lived in Tbilisi during the last two centuries.

The rally took place outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi on Rustaveli Avenue.

“We must show Georgia and the international community the brutality against Yezidis in Iraq. The world is in danger,” organizers of the rally say.

Another solidarity rally was held by the Yezidi community on August 6 outside the UN office in Tbilisi, and was joined by youth organizations and representatives of different religious groups.

Yazidis are a Kurdish speaking people whose belief is different from the belief of other Kurds. They are followers of a pre-Islamic religion related to the old Persian Zoroastrism and Mithraism – sun worship.

Under pressure from Ottomans, thousands of Yazidis, along with Assyrians and other Middle Eastern Christians, moved from the territory of the Ottoman Empire to South Caucasus, then part of the Russian Empire. Most of them now live in Armenia and Georgia, centered mainly in urban areas.

ISIS, a radical Islamist movement, has outdone even their rival al-Qaeda in brutality, as they have pushed through the central and northern parts of Iraq on an offensive that has been a catastrophe for the region’s non-Muslim population, i.e. Christians and Yazidis. According to Iraqi officials ISIS fighters butchered hundreds of Yazidi civilians. About 300 Yazidi women fell in the hands of the terrorists as sex slaves. (DF watch)

Teachers send a letter to Prime Minister

The employs of the National Centre for Teacher Professional Development call on the Prime Minister of Georgia to reject the decision of the Minister of Education on dismissing the centre director. Minister Tamar Sanikidze took a decision to dismiss Gia Mamulashvili on the basis of the report of the internal audit, which revealed the misspending of the budgetary funds by Mamulashvili.

The staff of the centre and the dismissed director disagree with the report by the audit and plan to use all legal means, including filing a complaint at the court, to confirm that Mamulashvili and the centre had worked honestly. (Rustavi2) Drugs in especially large quantities seized by MIA

The officers of Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Main Division as a result of operative-investigative activities detained “Paata Ch” (DOB: 1963) for the illegal purchase and possession of drugs in especially large quantities.

As a result of the personal search, law enforcers seized 13. 039 grams of a drug which according to the expertise contained 6.21 grams of heroin.

According to the drug test results “Paata” was under the drug influence at the moment of his detention. The detainee has already pleaded guilty.

An investigation is in progress. (