The EUMM has strengthened its field office (FOs) network to respond to the situation on the ground. Since 15 September, the EUMM is operating from three FOs; in addition, to provide optimal coverage throughout the entire area of responsibility, the EUMM is establishing three Forward Operating Bases. This will result in a further concentration of staff and resources to maximise the operational effectiveness of the Mission.
The Head of Mission, Ambassador Hansjörg Haber recently stated:
“The EU Monitoring Mission has made great progress since it began patrolling on 1 October last year. However, many challenges remain, the situation along the administrative boundary lines, incidents affecting local region, and the plight of Internally Displaced Persons.
Due to the situation on the ground, the EUMM has decided to make changes to our field office network to further strengthen our capabilities and effectiveness to meet the operational challenges of the year ahead.”
The civilian mission has 252 staff with civilian, police and military backgrounds in the field. They are divided over three FOs located in Mtskheta, Gori and Zugdidi. The monitors operate in teams which focus on the following three functional areas:
Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) and Confidence Building – teams will work along the South Ossetian and Abkhazian ABLs in order to monitor the security regime and the safety and living conditions of the local population. The teams will also report on the cross-ABL movement of men, women and children, and encourage contact and co-operation between the parties to the conflict.
Compliance – teams will monitor military and law enforcement facilities in order to ensure compliance with the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the EUMM and respectively the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.
Human rights/Humanitarian issues – teams will focus on humanitarian issues and human rights, including the situation of all individuals displaced by the August 2008 (and earlier) conflicts and returnees in the former buffer zone North of Gori.
THE NEW FIELD OFFICE SET UP:
MTSKHETA (Near TBILISI) – 64 personnel, 2 teams – 1 x Compliance, 1 x Human Rights/Humanitarian Issues.
GORI (Near SO ABL) - 112 personnel, 4 teams – 2 x ABL Confidence Building, 1 x Compliance, 1 x Human Rights/Humanitarian Issues
ZUGDIDI (Near ABK ABL) – 76 Personnel, 3 teams – 1 x ABL Confidence Building, 1 x Compliance, 1 x Human Rights/Humanitarian Issues