ALLS Media Monitoring Team
The resolution on the Status of the refugees (the so-called internally displaced persons) from Abkhazia, Georgia, and the Tskhinval(i) Region/South Ossetia, Georgia (document A/65/L.74) was adopted by a recorded vote of 57 in favour to 13 against, with 74 abstentions.
In favour: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu.
This motion can only be put down to the witchcraft-like influence of the Georgian lobby.
A more sober viewer would raise several questions. Consider the “Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Francis M. Deng, submitted pursuant to Commission resolution 1997/39. Addendum: Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the UN Commission on Human Rights (11 February 1998)”, and, in particular, the following:
“2. The prohibition of arbitrary displacement includes displacement:
b. In situations of armed conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand;”
The countries that voted In Favour are perhaps not aware of the armed conflict or of the fact that Georgia has totally failed to establish any relationship with Abkhazia. On the contrary, Georgia has been continuously launching terrorist activity, forcing the refugees to form the “White Legion” and “Forest Brothers” terrorist groups to operate in Abkhazia’s border-region of Gal.
2. The authorities undertaking such displacement shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to the displaced persons, that such displacements are effected in satisfactory conditions of safety, nutrition, health and hygiene, and that members of the same family are not separated.
The countries that voted In Favour are probably not aware of the fact that, when the Georgian army invaded Abkhazia, it ransacked and destroyed Abkhazians houses and apartments. Did any representative of the of these 57 countries voting In favour bother to try to learn the conditions of ‘safety, nutrition, health and hygiene’ of the inhabitants of Abkhazia who suffered post-war water- and electricity-problems, accommodation-problems and post-war blockade for years until it was lifted following recognition by Russia.
Have these countries ever thought about the question of accommodation for the refugees before they voted In Favour? Where do they suppose returning Kartvelians would find work in Abkhazia when faced with such facts as:
1. Abkhazians do not speak Georgian, and conversely Kartvelians do not speak Abkhazian. Have these voters scheduled any language- or house-building programmes?
2. post-war Abkhazia is doing utmost but struggling to find employment for its own indigenous people in Abkhazia, a country intentionally and totally isolated from the world through sanctions imposed on it for being a victim of Georgian aggression.
1. Every human being has the inherent right to life which shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life. Internally displaced persons shall be protected in particular against:
c. Summary or arbitrary executions; and
d. Enforced disappearances, including abduction or unacknowledged detention, threatening or resulting in death.
Threats and incitement to commit any of the foregoing acts shall be prohibited.
The countries that voted In Favour perhaps do not know that on 14 August 1992 the Georgian invasion into Abkhazia began with persecution of Abkhazians, murder, arbitrary executions, and enforced disappearances, including abduction or unacknowledged detention, threatening (or actually resulting in) death. During the war two clear threats of genocide were issued, one by a Georgian military leader (on video) and the other by a leading member of the aggressor administration (published in Le Monde Diplomatique), which means that, contrary to their usual condemnation of threats/commission of genocide, the countries voting In Favour openly ally themselves with a state that is guilty of the same.
1. Internally displaced persons who have returned to their homes or places of habitual residence or who have resettled in another part of the country shall not be discriminated against as a result of their having been displaced. They shall have the right to participate fully and equally in public affairs at all levels and have equal access to public services.
The countries that voted In Favour are perhaps not aware of the fact that the refugees from Abkhazia are now actually residing on their indigenous lands, which they were forced to leave during (Georgian!) Stalin’s Black Terror (1937-1953) and in the land where the Georgian language is considered the state-language, though Mingrelian has no official status. It seems doubtful that these people would prefer to live in a different cultural atmosphere. Abkhazians treat Georgia as an enemy state. Georgia constantly instigates and demonstrates its odium towards Abkhazians. Georgia has failed to establish friendly relations. It is easy to damage relations, but it is not that easy to win back confidence. It takes decades or even centuries (as once stated by Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili) in an area like the Caucasus, where the blood-feud has been a centuries-old tradition.
Regretfully, the adopted UN Resolution on Status of IDPs and Refugees from Abkhazia was not based on documents, including the UN’s very own Reports on Georgia, not to mention a mass of historical data. One of our concerns is that Georgia will seek to gain wider support for this Resolution as it continues its determined efforts to dupe the international community into believing that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are ‘occupied territories’ and to divert attention from the humanitarian problems from which people continue to suffer. In a word, Georgia misrepresents itself to the international community, and that international community has proved itself far too gullible to such deception for far too long.
No one denies the fact that refugees deserve sympathy and proper care, but those who started the war should have considered the consequences for their kin in Abkhazia before taking the decision to begin hostilities.
Over the years since the end of the war in Abkhazia on 30 September 1993 and the flight of most of the former Kartvelian population from the region, various figures for the refugees resident in Georgia have been cited by different organisations and commentators. Please see below a selection of these figures along with the relevant source.
Graphic: Demographic change in Abkhazia 1897–1989 - Conciliation Resources
6. --''According to claims of the separatist authorities there are currently 320 000 people living in Abkhazia. According to Tbilisi this is an unrealistic figure as the government-in-exile of Abkhazia’s autonomous republic reports that the total number currently living in Abkhazia is no more than 167 000 people, the majority of whom are Armenians – 57 000, then Georgians – 46 000, Abkhazians – 34 000, then Russians 23 000 and so on.'' [The Messenger Online, 12 August 2010]