Georgian “Forest Brothers” guerrillas and Abkhaz security troops clashed during the night of May 10-11 near the village of Khumushkuri, situated in the Abkhaz-controlled Gali district. The Georgian guerrillas had seized Khumushkuri from Abkhaz forces last week (see the Monitor, May 4) and were now headed for another village. These are the most serious clashes reported to involve the Forest Brothers thus far. Moreover, several Georgian parliamentary deputies–including members of the governing majority–entered Gali district under the Forest Brothers’ protection on May 9. They distributed food aid to Georgians who had filtered back to their homes, and held a political rally in an area no longer controlled by Abkhaz forces. (Itar-Tass, May 11; Russian agencies, May 9)
Georgian guerrilla activity in Abkhazia has to date been attributed to the White Legion, which is made up of Georgians returning spontaneously to their homes in Abkhazia. The Forest Brothers’ emergence and the parliamentary deputies’ foray illustrate both a gradual erosion of Abkhaz control, and the beginnings of de facto dual power in the bitterly disputed Gali district.
RUSSIAN-UZBEK-TAJIK TROIKA APT TO COMPLICATE PACIFICATION EFFORTS.