Georgia: Situation calms down in S.Ossetia, but source of tensions remains

The main road into the South Ossetian conflict zone, which has been closed for several weeks, was reportedly re-opened on Sunday after Georgian State Minister Giorgi Khaindrava warned, on July 16, that the situation in the region is worsening because of "well-planned provocations." The overall situation in the region started to deteriorate on May 29 when four Ossetians and one Georgian policeman were killed in a shootout near the Georgian village of Tamarasheni. This incident was followed by the disappearance of four Georgians. Their whereabouts still remain unknown. in a response, relatives of these four men started blocking major roads in the conflict zone.

This reopening of the road in the conflict zone is expected to defuse tensions, at least slightly. But without proper investigation, the May 29 and June 6 incidents will remain a source of different interpretations by Tbilisi and Tskhinvali and potential sources of tensions. Alternatively, the large number of arms and unauthorized Georgian and Ossetian checkpoints, as well as armed men in the conflict zone, might also undermine the fragile peace in the region at any time.


United Nations Association of Georgia
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