Ergneti meeting ends, occupying forces say lookout tower was needed to ‘control border’

  • The 91th IPRM meeting ended without achieving an agreement on some of the most challenging issues. Photo: State Security Service press office., 8 Feb 2019 - 18:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

The 91st Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism Meeting (IPRM) in the occupied Ergneti village of the breakaway Tskhinvali region has ended, during which the occupying forces stated  that the newly erected lookout tower near the Khurvaleti village was needed “to better control the border.”

A representative of the de facto government of Tskhinvali Egor Kochiev also said that he does not know when the so called border, closed on 11 January, will reopen.

If the cases of swine flu decrease in Georgia, we will re-open the border. It is closed as we care about the health of our residents,” Kochiev said.

Deputy Head of the Analytical Department of the Georgian State Security Service Irakli Antadze says that the construction of the lookout tower is “absolutely unacceptable.”

The EUMM mission head to Georgia tweeted. 

The erection of any types of towers, boards or barbed-wire-fences are absolutely unacceptable and illegal.  The tower is a military construction with armed people in, which carries risks for the local population,” Antadze said.

Antadze stated that the issue of illegal detention of Georgian citizens and current situation near the villages of Chorchana and Tsaghvri of  the Khashuri municipality have also been raised during the meeting.

Locals and Georgian activists say that the occupying forces marked trees in the two villages and they believe that new barbed-wire-fences may appear in the villages which are now under the control of the central Georgian government.

The following meeting of the local mechanism with the goal to settle conflict-related conflict issues will supposedly take place on 20 March.