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Congo-captured Georgian pilot addresses his family

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, June 7
A video-address of Georgian pilot Soso Osurauli, who was captured by rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo in January, has been released on the Internet and spread by the media.

The captured pilot says that he is accused of killing many people but denies the allegations.

“I know they say I have killed some people. It is not true. Do not believe it, please. I have never killed anyone. Mother, please, do not worry, everything will be all right. Bring up good children. I love you and miss you very much,” Osurauli addresses his family.

The pilot’s brother, Giorgi Osurauli, says that he saw the video two months ago. He says that the video does not prove that his brother is alive now.

However, he added that there has been no news that Soso Osurauli is killed.

The family of the captured pilot is waiting for information from the corresponding bodies; however, no official news has been known on the whereabouts or health condition of Osurauli.

Beka Dvali, the Ambassador of Georgia to South Africa, says that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MFA) of Georgia is using all possible diplomatic resources with the United Nations, the Red Cross and the relevant agencies of the Democratic Republic of Congo to obtain any information about the Georgian citizen.

On May 24, the MFA of Georgia held a special briefing wherein Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Zviad Gonadze said that there were rumors that an attack took place between the confronting factions in the Congo and Osurauli was killed, but he added this information still had not been confirmed officially.

Gonadze also called on Georgian citizens currently in the Congo to leave the country immediately and advised others not to travel there.

In February, Georgia’s MFA and Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed that one Georgian was wounded and another was captured after two helicopters of the Congolese Air Force were shot down by rebels on January 27.

Georgia’s MoD stated that the reason for the Georgian citizens’ presence in Congo was unknown to them, but added that Osurauli used to serve in the Georgian Armed Forces but quit in 2015 for personal reasons.