The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) participated in the 42nd Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting chaired by the United Nations, which took place in Gali, 24 January 2017.
EUMM noted the continuous cooperation and exchange of information between IPRM participants through the active use of the hotline, which is facilitated by the Mission.
Participants followed-up on the handover of material that was collected by Georgian authorities on the murder of Giga Otkhozoria in Khurcha at the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) on 19 May 2016. Furthermore, participants exchanged information concerning several other criminal cases and detentions.
The announced closure of crossing points at the ABL (Nabakevi-Khurcha and Meore Otobaia-Orsantia) and previously introduced changes to a “border zone” in Abkhazia were discussed as new agenda points. EUMM expressed serious concern about the announced closure of crossing points, emphasizing the negative impacts such a step would have on the daily lives of local residents who cross the ABL. Special emphasis was put on the challenges to freedom of movement for schoolchildren and for patients crossing for medical care.
Participants at the 42nd IPRM also discussed the possibility to expand information-sharing on military exercises and other activities by security actors with the purpose of increasing transparency and avoiding misperceptions.
The next IPRM meeting in Gali will take place on 22 February 2017.