Illegal Armed Groups Detected In Georgian-South Ossetian Conflict Zone

Tbilisi. June 16 (Prime-News) ' Several illegal armed groups were detected in four locations in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone during the joint inspection, goes the Friday statement by the Ministry of Defence of Georgia.


According to it, monitoring was conducted upon request by the Georgian party.
The first armed group was observed two kilometres away to the north of the Ossetian village of Zemo Frisi.
The members of the armed group of eight of Ossetian origin refused to present their IDs and name their military or police upon request of the monitoring group members.

Another armed group of fifteen Ossetians was found to the north-east of the Georgian village of Frisi, at the village cemetery, accompanied by LT.-Col. Ivakhnenko, Deputy Commander of the Ossetian peacekeeping battalion.

One more illegal armed formation was noticed a half kilometre away to the north of the above-mentioned place. Approximately 30 persons were armed with firearms, machine-guns, sniper rifles and anti-tank mines.
Upon request by the Georgian officers one member of the group declared that he was a commander and claimed the unit fell under supervision of the de facto Ministry of Interior Affairs of South Ossetia. However, none of them presented identity cards.

The monitoring mission members were vainly trying to contact Marat Kulakhmetov, Commander of Russian Peacekeeping Forces. The monitoring mission could only communicate with certain Col. Akimov and reported him on the existing situation in the conflict zone and demanded fulfilment of obligations under peacekeeping mandate.

Infringements were also observed in the village of Avnevi, where Ossetian side has illegally relocated Ossetian police checkpoint. At the same time, the members of the monitoring mission were informed that Ossetian side deployed armed groups and set up a field camp at the Trinity Church to the south of the village of Kheiti. Monitoring mission could not manage to recheck the information, as Marat Kulakhmetov declared that he considered it inadvisable to carry out monitoring in the village of Kheiti in order to evade irritating of the Ossetian side.

"Attitude of Marat Kulakhmetov to this fact is another clear example that Russian peacekeepers do not perform their mission properly", went on the statement.

Von: 16.06.06

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