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103rd Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) Meeting Held in Ergneti

By Khatia Bzhalava
Friday, November 19
The group of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) held a meeting yesterday in Ergneti village to discuss the incidents that had taken place for the last 2 months at the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL). The meeting was co-facilitated by the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

According to the statement of the OSCE, participants discussed the impact of the closure of crossing points and other restrictions affecting the lives of the conflict-affected population, focusing on the most recent security developments at the administrative boundary line (ABL), detention cases, the situation in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Georgian side focused on the so-called illegal borderization and detentions, humanitarian crisis, and opening of the Akhalgori checkpoint. The release of Georgian citizen Gela Gochoshvili who was detained by the Russian occupation forces several months ago and the issue of Genadi Bestaev, who was illegally arrested in November 2019 and released recently after the deterioration of his health, also remained at the top of the agenda of the meeting.

Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus Ambassador Annika Soder praised the participants’ commitment to engage in regular exchange in the IPRM format and called on them ‘to apply a pragmatic and humanitarian approach during the upcoming holiday season.’

“The co-facilitators also stressed the importance of continued dialogue and called for mutually acceptable solutions that uphold humanitarian principles and human rights, and that respond positively to the needs of the conflict-affected population living on both sides of the ABL,” OSCE reports.

Kate Fearon, Deputy Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, encouraged the participants to continue using the IPRM meetings, as well as the EUMM-managed Hotline, to exchange information and noted their importance for confidence-building.

According to the statement, during the meeting, attention was drawn to the Women, Peace, and Security agenda and how this could further be integrated into the IPRM format.

The Next IPRM meeting will be held on January 20, 2022.