Letter of the President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
To His Excellency
Secretary General of the United Nations Organization
Mister Ban Ki-moon
We highly assess the United Nations Organization’s efforts in 1992-2008, aimed at settling the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. The Georgian-Abkhaz negotiations was held under the aegis of the United Nations, and the United Nations participation was an important element in signing the base arrangements on the non-use of force between Georgia and Abkhazia, in particular, in the Moscow Agreement from May 14, 1994, and as well as the Gagra protocol from May 25, 1998.
However, aggressive actions and unilateral violation of peace agreements by Georgia, such as the intrusion of Georgian armed forces into the Kodor valley of Abkhazia in August, 2006, have caused escalation of tension that led to the war in South Ossetia in August, 2008.
Throughout the negotiations the Abkhaz party adheres strictly to the idea that peace political dialogue in settling conflicts has no alternative. We also call on the Georgian party to abandon the renewal of hostilities in air, in sea and on land.
The aggressive policy of Georgia, large-scale military operations against Abkhazia, as well as the agreements violated by Tbilisi that has been signed earlier under the aegis of the United Nations and with the assistance of OSCE, give us grounds not to trust verbal "peace declarations” of Georgia’s leadership.
Thereupon the Abkhaz party once again expresses its adherence to maintaining peace and stability in the region and reaffirms the position voiced within the framework of the Geneva discussions, aimed at reaching arrangements on the non-use of force and the beginning of the process of building equitable, good-neighborly relations between Abkhazia and Georgia on the basis of universal norms of international relations.
We also consider it important to emphasize that the strategic ally of the Republic of Abkhazia – the Russian Federation – remains the guarantor of security and non-renewal of hostilities between Georgia and Abkhazia.
All through the history of the conflict Abkhazia has never been a source of aggression against neighbor states and does not intend to do it henceforth. And we officially declare that in our relations with Georgia the Republic of Abkhazia intends to adhere strictly to the universally recognized principle of prohibition of the use of force or threat of force as provided by the international law.
Nevertheless, considering the past experience, as well as the continuing aggressive real policy of Georgia in relation to Abkhazia, we reserve the right to self-defense in air, in sea or on land in case of an armed attack or other acts of military aggression from Georgia.
Thereupon Abkhazia calls on the United Nations Organization to facilitate the securing of mutual obligations between Abkhazia and Georgia on the non-use of force and refusal of aggression. Abkhazia supports the beginning of the process of “building a new system of safeguarding security guarantees aimed at a long-term and stable peace neighborhood of the two states – Abkhazia and Georgia.
Your Excellency, I take the opportunity to express the assurance of my high respect to you.
President of the Republic of Abkhazia
December 14, 2010
N.B: The 1994 Moscow Accords which formally marked the ceasefire in the Georgian-Abkhazian war delimited a demilitarised zone. Despite this, Saakashvili decided in the spring of 2006 to introduce an armed force that he disingenuously described as a 'police-force' into the Upper Kodor Valley, the one part of Abkhazia over which the Abkhazians had not reestablished control when they achieved their military victory at the end of September 1993, on the pretext of establishing order in an area previously controlled by a local Svan strong-man named Kvitsiani; this Valley was part of the demilitarised zone. No sanctions were taken against Tbilisi by the international community as a result of this blatant infringement of the 1994 ceasefire-agreement. Between May 2006 and the expulsion of these troops on 12 August 2008, when the Abkhazians finally brought the whole of the Kodor Valley back under their control, much money was invested in the district by Tbilisi in order to demonstrate what benefits might flow from Georgian benevolence. The region was restyled 'Upper Abkhazia', the so-called Government of Abkhazia in Exile was transferred to a new headquarters in the village of Chkhalta, where the Abkhazians found a 'NATO Information Centre' along with a sign boasting 'Our Goal Is Near' when they entered the valley after the Georgian forces had fled in disarray, and a branch of Zugdidi Bank (with cash-dispensing machine) was set up in neighbouring Azhara. A landing-strip was constructed, and a HUGE amount of weaponry (largely American, Israeli, Ukrainian) was taken up and stored there — for what purpose has never been explained. All of this ordinance was captured by the Abkhazians and removed to Sukhum, where it was briefly put on display together with trophies from the military base at Senaki in neighbouring Mingrelia, similarly abandoned by Georgian forces in their own headlong retreat when they realised the Abkhazians had crossed the border over the R. Ingur and were heading for that base. Also captured was a computer on which were found telling photographs depicting US military instructors giving lessons to Georgian troops in how to construct improvised bombs. There are now plans to create a nature-reserve in the Upper Kodor Valley, construct a decent road to connect with the North Caucasus via the Klukhor Pass, and encourage tourism. Whilst those Svans who lived in the Valley are welcome to stay and/or resume residence (as long as they did not take up arms against the Abkhazians at any time since hostilities began back in 1989), but the days of Georgian dominance, as in Abkhazia as a whole, are gone forever. [http://www.abkhazworld.com/articles/analysis/406-absence-of-will-commentary.html]