More mass graves to be opened to find Abkhazian conflict victims

Zhuzhuna Okruashvili's son was one of the conflict victims. His body have already been found and identified. Photo by N. Alavidze., 30 May 2015 - 17:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

Eleven mass graves in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region and nearby territory will soon be opened to find and identify bodies of those missing since the Abkhazian conflict in the early 1990s.

See our multimedia story about the victims and survivors of the conflict here.

This agreement was reached after a meeting in Istanbul between Georgian and de-facto Abkhazian officials last week, Georgia’s Refugees Minister Sozar Subari said. The negotiations were held under the auspices of the International Red Cross Commission.

"This meeting organised by the Red Cross discussed only humanitarian issues; in particular the issue relating to the searching and transferring of missing fighters,” Subari said.

He assumed dozens of bodies would be transferred and identified once the mass graves are opened.

The Georgian-Abkhazian bilateral coordination mechanism worked within the framework of the International Red Cross Commission and aimed to find people lost during the 1992-1993 war.

As a result of the negotiations, 30 victims of the Babushera plane crash were unearthed from the Babushera mass grave in Abkhazia and transferred to Georgia last year.

The 30 people were among 132 people travelling on a plane from Tbilisi to Sokhumi, the capital city of Abkhazia, on September 22, 1993 when it was shot down while attempting to land at Babushera Airport. The aircraft crashed on the runway, killing 108 of the 132 people on board.