The Georgian parliament yesterday adopted unanimously a resolution demanding that Russian "peacekeeping" troops in Abkhazia broaden their mandate to take account of Georgia’s legitimate interests or else withdraw within two months. The resolution targeted the Russian troops’ refusal to secure the repatriation of Georgian expellees to Abkhazia. The parliamentary resolution also declared the existing Abkhaz leadership illegitimate and recognized the leaders of the Abkhazian legislature operating as refugees in Tbilisi as Abkhazia’s legitimate authority. In addition, the resolution called for negotiations toward a political settlement with the participation of the UN as an intermediary, Russia as an interested party, Georgia, and the two Abkhazian groups.
The parliament further instructed the Foreign Ministry to officially request the creation of a UN-sponsored international tribunal to investigate genocide and ethnic cleansing against Georgians in Abkhazia and instructed Georgia’s General Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the crimes and indict those responsible. In Sukhumi, Abkhaz Supreme Soviet Chairman Sokrat Jinjolia ruled out any change in the mandate of the "peacekeepers" and warned that war may resume and that Abkhazia would win again if Russian peacekeepers withdraw. (Interfax, Western agencies, April 17)
Except on the point concerning the peacekeepers’ mandate, the parliamentary resolutions largely stem from pressures on Eduard Shevardnadze and the ruling party by opposition groups and the strong expellee community. Exasperated by de facto Russian protection of Abkhaz gains, the parliament chose to register its moral indignation at the end of a long, agitated special session.
Baku Takes Wanted Foes unto Custody.