Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 227

In a spate of press interviews in recent days, Georgian state security minister Shota Kviraya, his first deputy, Avtandil Ioseliani, and refugee leader Tamaz Nadareishvili have acknowledged that Georgian guerrilla groups have begun operating in Abkhazia. All three officials stated that the groups are comprised of ethnic Georgians who were forcibly expelled or otherwise persecuted by the Abkhazian authorities, or who seek to avenge the loss of home and kin during the 1992-93 war. Nadareishvili, who chairs the ethnically Georgian rump of Abkhazia’s parliament, operating in Tbilisi, said that the Georgian government’s reliance on negotiations alone to settle the conflict has increased frustration among the refugees and motivated them to take up arms. Approximately a dozen guerrilla groups, comprised of five to ten members each, are operating mainly in Gali, Ochamchira, and Sukhumi districts, the officials said. They disclaimed any involvement by Tbilisi in equipping or directing the groups. (Iberia, Iprinda, November 30, December 2; Svobodnaya Gruziya, December 3, as cited by Itar-Tass)

A series of attacks on isolated Abkhaz military posts or patrols and on buildings used by Abkhaz authorities took place in the runup to last month’s illegitimate legislative elections in Abkhazia. As a rule the unidentified attackers used explosives and light arms, causing few casualties but substantial material damage. Abkhaz authorities blame the attacks on Tbilisi, which initially attributed them to rivalries among Abkhaz clans. The latest statements in Tbilisi, however, would seem to reflect a decision to generate a degree of military pressure on Abkhazia that will parallel the negotiating process.

Tajik Insurgents Entrenched in Key Town.