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Statement by Non-governmental Organizations of Abkhazia

Civil society in Abkhazia is appalled at the tragic events in South Ossetia that are developing before the very eyes of the international community as the entire population of South Ossetia have actually become a target for a massive attack from the Georgian army. Georgia has violated all previous agreements, as well as principles of international and humanitarian law.

Despite declarations about adherence to exclusively peaceful ways of conflict resolution, the Georgian leadership has now taken a treacherous decision to start military operations against the people of South Ossetia. Hundreds of civilians are dead and wounded, the hospital, schools accommodation blocks in Tskhinval have been destroyed. Barbaric shelling of the civilian population testifies to a gross transgression by Georgia of human rights and has caused a desperate humanitarian disaster across the whole of South Ossetia.

One can hardly call Georgia's recent actions spontaneous. They are a deliberate fulfilment of Tbilisi's plans to undermine the existing negotiation and peacekeeping formats. In his recent interviews the State Minister of Georgia Temur Jacobashvili has spoken openly about Georgia's intention to liquidate these formats.

By repeatedly declaring its commitment to a peaceful resolution Georgia is attempting to mislead the international community about its true intentions. It must be obvious that Tbilisi has embarked on the path of a resolution of conflicts by force of arms. In light of this the so called 'peace initiatives" by Saakashvili are perceived in South Ossetia and Abkhazia as nothing other than a screen to mask Georgia' s goals, which are far from peaceful.

We cannot but be concerned by the fact that at a time when so much attention from the international community is focused on our region, and just after the visits to Tbilisi of highly placed officials from world powers, Georgia has permitted itself yet again to resort to military force to attain its goals. This demonstrates that too often Tbilisi succeeds in avoiding having to take responsibility for its criminal actions, which destabilize the situation in the Caucasus and place under threat the lives of thousands of people.

In the current situation we expect from the international community, from all countries and organizations involved in the resolution process an unambiguous assessment of the actions of Georgia. We consider that the international community is well placed and obliged to use all levers at its disposal to put a stop to Georgian aggression, if it so wishes.

Centre for Humanitarian Programmes - Arda Inal Ipa, Ilana Kvarchelia, Asida Shakril, Irakliy Hintba
Sukhum Youth House - Elena Kobahiya, Aida Ladariya
Sukhum Media Club - Manana Gurguliya, Diana Kerselyan, Marta Tuzhba
Inva-Promotion Association - Alhas Thagushev, Alena Kuvichko
Association of Women of Abkhazia - Natella Akaba, Marietta Topchyan, Bella Turtseva
Centre of Civic Initiatives Development Gagra - Irina Agrba
Youth Initiative Tkuarchala - Rita Azhiba
Ochamchira Youth House - Selma Zantariya
Pitsunda Youth Centre - Natalya Agrba
Association of Women Entrepreneurs - Julia Goumba
Civilian Initiatives Fund
- Leila Taniya 

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