Fighting continued during the weekend and yesterday between Abkhaz forces and Georgian guerrillas in Gali district. Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze informed the country on radio yesterday that some 30,000 Georgian civilians, from among those who had filtered back to Gali district, were forced to flee again in recent days, as Abkhaz artillery shelled Georgian villages.
On May 25, the Georgian ambassador to Russia, Vazha Lordkipanidze, on instructions from President Eduard Shevardnadze, flew to the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi and signed with Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba a protocol on a cease-fire and disengagement of forces. On May 26, Georgia’s Foreign Minister Irakly Menagarishvili and Internal Affairs Minister Kakha Targamadze flew to Sukhumi and signed the final text of the agreement. The document envisages a cease-fire effective today; a mutual withdrawal of the “supplementary” forces, which were introduced in Gali district since the beginning of the fighting last week; and the return to Gali of the newly displaced Georgians, once the cease-fire and the disengagement are complete. Nevertheless the fighting continued yesterday and this morning, with both sides citing conflicting casualty figures. (Russian agencies, May 22 through 26)
KAZAKHSTANI AUTHORITIES WORRIED ABOUT DEPOPULATION.