Apsny / Apkhazeti / Abhazia
Location of Abkhazia (dark green, circled)
within Georgia (lighter green)
|-||कुल||8600 वर्ग किलोमीटर
3320 वर्ग मील
|-||2006 प्राक्कलन||157,000-190,000 (International Crisis Group)
177,000 (Encyclopædia Britannica)
|-||2003 जनगणना||216,000 (disputed)|
|समय मण्डल||MSK (यू॰टी॰सी॰+3)|
|Government of the Republic of Abkhazia
|-||Prime Minister||Alexander Ankvab|
|De facto independence from Georgia|
|-||Declared||23 July 1992|
|मुद्रा||Russian ruble (RUB)|
|1.||Russian has co-official status and widespread use by government and other institutions.|
|Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia
|राजधानी||Sokhumi (de jure)
Chkhalta (de facto)
Cabinet of Ministers
|-||Chairman, Supreme Council||Temur Mzhavia|
|Autonomous republic of Georgia|
from the Soviet Union
9 April 1991
25 December 1991
|मुद्रा||Georgian lari (GEL)|
|यह सम्पूर्ण पृष्ठ या इसके कुछ विभाग हिन्दी के अतिरिक्त अन्य भाषा(ओं) में भी लिखे गए हैं। आप इनका करके विकिपीडिया की सहायता कर सकते हैं।|
अबखाजिया (उच्चारण सहायता /æbˈkeɪʒə/ or /æbˈkɑziə/, साँचा:Lang-ab Apsny, साँचा:Lang-ka Apkhazeti or Abkhazeti, रूसी : Абха́зия Abhazia) is a region in Caucasus. It is a de facto independent republic, with no international recognition. It is located within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia. Abkhazia is located on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, bordering the Russian Federation to the north. Within Georgia, it borders the region of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti to the east.
Abkhazia’s independence is not recognized by any international organization or country and it is recognized as an autonomous republic of Georgia (साँचा:Lang-ka, Abkhaz: Аҧснытәи Автономтәи Республика), with Sukhumi as its capital.
A secessionist movement of Abkhaz ethnic minority in the region led to the declaration of independence from Georgia in 1992 and the Georgian-Abkhaz armed conflict from 1992 to 1993 which resulted in the Georgian military defeat and the mass exodus and ethnic cleansing of Georgian population from Abkhazia. In spite of the 1994 ceasefire accord and the ongoing UN-monitored and Russian-dominated CIS peacekeeping operation, the sovereignty dispute has not yet been resolved and the region remains divided between the two rival authorities, with over 83 percent of its territory controlled by the Russian-backed Sukhumi-based separatist government and about 17 percent governed by the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, recognized by Georgia as the legal authority of Abkhazia, located in the Kodori Valley, part of Georgian-controlled Upper Abkhazia.
- 1 Political status
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 Economy
- 4 Demographics
- 5 History
- 6 Politics
- 7 International involvement
- 8 Religion
- 9 Gallery of Abkhazia
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Political status[संपादित करें]
The international organizations such as United Nations (32 Security Council Resolutions), EC, OSCE, NATO, WTO, Council of the European Union, CIS as well as most sovereign states recognize Abkhazia as an integral part of Georgia and support its territorial integrity according to the principles of international law. The United Nations is urging both sides to settle the dispute through diplomatic dialogue and ratifying the final status of Abkhazia in the Georgian Constitution. However, the Abkhaz de-facto government considers Abkhazia a sovereign country, even though it is not recognized by any party in the world and is still populated with ethnic Georgians (who live in the Gali District and the Kodori Gorge). In 2005, the Georgian government offered Abkhazia a high degree of autonomy and possible federal structure within the borders and jurisdiction of Georgia.
Meanwhile the Russian State Duma is urging to take into consideration the appeal made by Abkhaz de facto authorities which calls for recognition of its independence, while Russian state media produce numerous materials in support of the separatist regime. During the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, Russian authorities and military supplied logistical and military aid to the separatist side. Today, Russia still maintains a strong political and military influence over separatist rule in Abkhazia. Russia has also issued passports for the citizens of Abkhazia since 2000 (as the Abkhazian passports cannot be used for international travel) and subsequently paid retirement pensions and other monetary benefits. More than 80% of the Abkhazian population received Russian citizenship by 2006; however, Abkhazians do not pay Russian taxes, vote in presidential elections or serve in the Russian Army. About 53,000 Abkhazian passports have been issued as of May 2007. President Bagapsh hopes that by the end of 2007 up to 90% of Abkhaz citizens will possess the "national" passports.
On October 18, 2006, the People's Assembly of Abkhazia passed a resolution, calling upon Russia, international organizations, and the rest of the international community to recognize Abkhaz independence on the basis that Abkhazia possesses all the properties of an independent state. However, international organizations have confirmed their support for Georgian territorial integrity and outlined the basic principles of conflict resolution which call for immediate return of all expelled ethnic Georgian refugees (approximately 250,000) and the involvement of International Police to monitor the safety of all ethnic groups living in Abkhazia. About 60,000 Georgian refugees have spontaneously returned to Abkhazia's Gali district since 1994, but tens of thousands were displaced again when fighting resumed in the Gali district in 1998. Nevertheless from 40,000 to 60,000 refugees have returned to Gali district since 1998, including persons commuting daily across the ceasefire line and those migrating seasonally in accordance with agricultural cycles. The human rights situation remains precarious in the Georgian-populated areas of the Gali district. The United Nations and other international organizations have been fruitlessly urging the Abkhaz de facto authorities "to refrain from adopting measures incompatible with the right to return and with international human rights standards, such as discriminatory legislation… [and] to cooperate in the establishment of a permanent international human rights office in Gali and to admit United Nations civilian police without further delay." Key officials of the Gali district are virtually all ethnic Abkhaz, though their support staff are ethnic Georgian.
Georgia accuses the Abkhaz secessionists of having conducted a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing, a claim supported by the OSCE and many Western governments. The UN Security Council has, however, avoided use of the term "ethnic cleansing", but has affirmed "the unacceptability of the demographic changes resulting from the conflict".
Geography and climate[संपादित करें]
Abkhazia covers an area of about 8,600 km² at the western end of Georgia. The Caucasus Mountains to the north and the northeast divide Abkhazia from the Russian Federation. To the east and southeast, Abkhazia is bounded by the Georgian region of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti; and on the south and southwest by the Black Sea.
Abkhazia is extremely mountainous. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range runs along the region's northern border, with its spurs – the Gagra, Bzyb and Kodori ranges – dividing the area into a number of deep, well-watered valleys. The highest peaks of Abkhazia are in the northeast and east and several exceed 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) above sea level. The landscapes of Abkhazia range from coastal forests and citrus plantations, to eternal snows and glaciers to the north of the region. Although Abkhazia's complex topographic setting have spared most of the territory from significant human development, its cultivated fertile lands produce tea, tobacco, wine and fruits, a mainstay of local agricultural sector.
Abkhazia is richly irrigated by small rivers originating in the Caucasus Mountains. Chief of these are: Kodori, Bzyb, Ghalidzga, and Gumista. The Psou River separates the region from Russia, and the Inguri serves as a boundary between Abkhazia and Georgia proper. There are several periglacial and crater lakes in mountainous Abkhazia. Lake Ritsa is the most important of them.
Because of Abkhazia's proximity to the Black Sea and the shield of the Caucasus Mountains, the region's climate is very mild. The coastal areas of the republic have a subtropical climate, where the average annual temperature in most regions is around 15 degrees Celsius. The climate at higher elevations varies from maritime mountainous to cold and summerless. Abkhazia receives high amounts of precipitation, but its unique micro-climate (transitional from subtropical to mountain) along most of its coast causes lower levels of humidity. The annual precipitation vacillates from 1,100-1,500 mm (43-59 inches) along the coast to 1,700-3,500 mm (67-138 in.) in the higher mountainous areas. The mountains of Abkhazia receive significant amounts of snow.
There are two border crossings into Abkhazia. The southern border crossing is at the Inguri bridge, a short distance from the Georgian city of Zugdidi. The northern crossing ("Psou") is in the town of Gyachrypsh. Owing to the ongoing security situation, many foreign governments advise their citizens against travelling to Abkhazia.
Administrative division[संपादित करें]
In Soviet times Abkhaz ASSR was divided into 6 raions named after their centres: Gagra, Gudauta, Sukhumi, Ochamchire, Gulripsh and Gali. The de jure division of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic of Georgia remained the same (see here).
The administrative division of the unrecognised Republic of Abkhazia is the same with one exception - a new Tkvarcheli raion was carved from the Ochamchire and Gali raions in 1995.
The economy of Abkhazia is heavily integrated with Russia and uses the Russian ruble as its currency. Tourism is a key industry and the Abkhaz de facto authorities claim that the organized tourists (mainly from Russia) numbered more than 100,000 in recent years, compared to about 200,000 in the 1990 before the war. The number of visitors in 2006 was estimated by Abkhazian authorities to have been approximately 1.5 million. Although the CIS economic sanctions imposed on Abkhazia in 1994 are still formally in force and Russia has established a visa regime with Georgia, Russian passport-holders do not require a visa to enter Abkhazia. Holders of European Union passports require a Entry Permit Letter issued by the de facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sukhumi, against which a visa will be issued upon presentation of the Letter to the MFA.
Abkhazia's fertile land and abundance of agricultural products, including tea, tobacco, wine and fruits (especially tangerines), have secured a relative stability in the sector. Electricity is largely supplied by the Inguri hydroelectric power station located on the Inguri river between Abkhazia and Georgia proper and operated jointly by Abkhaz and Georgians.
Many Russian entrepreneurs, including the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, have invested or plan to do so in Abkhazia. Both Abkhaz and Russian officials have announced their intentions to exploit Abkhazia's facilities and resources for the Olympic construction projects in Sochi, as the city will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Government of Georgia has warned against such actions, however, and has threatened to ask foreign banks to close accounts of Russian companies and individuals that buy assets in Abkhazia.
The region continues to suffer considerable economic problems owing to widespread corruption, the control by criminal organizations of large segments of the economy, and the continuing effects of the war.
According to the Family Lists compiled in 1886 (published 1893 in Tbilisi) the Sukhumi District's population was 68,773, of which 30,640 were Samurzaq'anoans, 28,323 Abkhaz, 3,558 Mingrelians, 2,149 Greeks, 1,090 Armenians, 1,090 Russians and 608 Georgians[तथ्य वांछित] (including Imeretians and Gurians). Samurzaq'ano is a present-day Gali district of Abkhazia. Most of the Samurzaq'anians must be thought to have been Mingrelians, and a minority Abkhaz.
According to the 1897 census there were 58,697 people in Abkhazia who listed Abkhaz as their mother tongue. The population of the Sukhumi district (Abkhazia) was about 100,000 at that time. Greeks, Russians and Armenians composed 3.5%, 2% and 1.5% of the district's population.
According to the 1917 agricultural census organized by the Russian Provisional Government, Georgians and Abkhaz composed 41.7% (54,760) and 30,4% (39,915) of the rural population of Abkhazia respectively. At that time Gagra and its vicinity weren't part of Abkhazia.
The following table summarises the results of the other censuses carried out in Abkhazia. The Russian, Armenian and Georgian population grew faster than Abkhaz one due to the large-scale migration.
साँचा:Ent - Georgian authorities did not acknowledge the results of this census and consider it illegitimate. Several international sources also consider these figures unrealistically high. The International Crisis Group (2006) estimates Abkhazia's total population to be between 157,000 and 190,000 (or between 180,000 and 220,000 as estimated by UNDP in 1998), while Encyclopædia Britannica puts it at 177,000 (2006 est.). The State Department of Statistics of Georgia estimated, in 2005, Abkhazia's population to be approximately 178,000. About 2,000 people (predominantly Svans, a subethnic group of the Georgian people) live in Georgia-controlled Upper Abkhazia.
Early history[संपादित करें]
In the 9th–6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia became a part of the ancient Georgian kingdom of Colchis (Kolkha), which was absorbed in 63 BC into the Kingdom of Egrisi. Greek traders established ports along the Black Sea shoreline. One of those ports, Dioscurias, eventually developed into modern Sukhumi, Abkhazia's traditional capital.
The Roman Empire conquered Egrisi in the 1st century AD and ruled it until the 4th century, following which it regained a measure of independence, but remained within the Byzantine Empire's sphere of influence. Although the exact time when the population of Abkhazia was converted to Christianity is not determined, it is known that the Metropolitan of Pitius participated in the First Œcumenical Council in 325 in Nicea. Abkhazia was made an autonomous principality of the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century — a status it retained until the 9th century, when it was united with the province of Imereti and became known as the Abkhazian Kingdom. In 9th–10th centuries the Georgian kings tried to unify all the Georgian provinces and in 1001 King Bagrat III Bagrationi became the first king of the unified Georgian Kingdom.
In the 16th century, after the break-up of the united Georgian Kingdom, the area was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, during this time some Abkhazians converted to Islam. The Ottomans were pushed out by the Georgians, who established an autonomous Principality of Abkhazia (abxazetis samtavro in Georgian), ruled by the Shervashidze dynasty (aka Sharvashidze, or Chachba).
Abkhazia within the Russian Empire and Soviet Union[संपादित करें]
The expansion of the Russian Empire into the Caucasus region led to small-scale but regular conflicts between Russian colonists and the indigenous Caucasian tribes. Eventually the Caucasian War erupted, which ended with Russian conquest of the North and Western Caucasus. Various Georgian principalities were annexed to the empire between 1801 and 1864. The Russians acquired possession of Abhkazia in a piecemeal fashion between 1829 and 1842; but their power was not firmly established until 1864, when they managed to abolish the local principality which was still under Shervashidze rule. Large numbers of Muslim Abkhazians — said to have constituted as much as 60% of the Abkhazian population, although contemporary census reports were not very trustworthy — emigrated to the Ottoman Empire between 1864 and 1878 together with other Muslim population of Caucasus in the process known as Muhajirism.
Modern Abkhazian historians maintain that large areas of the region were left uninhabited, and that many Armenians, Georgians and Russians (all Christians) subsequently migrated to Abkhazia, resettling much of the vacated territory. This version of events is strongly contested by some Georgian historians who argue that Georgian tribes (Mingrelians and Svans) had populated Abkhazia since the time of the Colchis kingdom. According to these scholars, the Abkhaz are the descendants of North Caucasian tribes (Adygey, Apsua), who migrated to Abkhazia from the north of the Caucasus Mountains and merged there with the existing Georgian population. This theory has little support though among Georgian academics.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 led to the creation of an independent Georgia (which included Abkhazia) in 1918. Georgia's Menshevik government had problems with the area through most of its existence despite a limited autonomy being granted to the region. In 1921, the Bolshevik Red Army invaded Georgia and ended its short-lived independence. Abkhazia was made a Soviet republic with the ambiguous status of Union Republic associated with the Georgian SSR, In 1931, Stalin made it an autonomous republic within Soviet Georgia. Despite its nominal autonomy, it was subjected to strong central rule from central Soviet authorities. Georgian became the official language. Purportedly, Lavrenty Beria encouraged Georgian migration to Abkhazia, and many took up the offer and resettled there. Russians also moved into Abkhazia in great numbers. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, Vazgen I and the Armenian church encouraged and funded the migration of Armenians to Abkhazia[तथ्य वांछित]. Currently, Armenians are the largest minority group in Abkhazia.
The repression of the Abkhaz was ended after Stalin's death and Beria's execution, and Abkhaz were given a greater role in the governance of the republic. As in most of the smaller autonomous republics, the Soviet government encouraged the development of culture and particularly of literature. Ethnic quotas were established for certain bureaucratic posts, giving the Abkhaz a degree of political power that was disproportionate to their minority status in the republic. This was interpreted by some as a "divide and rule" policy whereby local elites were given a share in power in exchange for support for the Soviet regime. In Abkhazia as elsewhere, it led to other ethnic groups - in this case, the Georgians - resenting what they saw as unfair discrimination, thereby stoking ethnic discord in the republic.
The Abkhazian War[संपादित करें]
As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate at the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between the Abkhaz and Georgians over Georgia's moves towards independence. Many Abkhaz opposed this, fearing that an independent Georgia would lead to the elimination of their autonomy, and argued instead for the establishment of Abkhazia as a separate Soviet republic in its own right. The dispute turned violent on July 16 1989 in Sukhumi. Sixteen Georgians are said to have been killed and another 137 injured when they tried to enroll in a Georgian University instead of an Abkhaz one. After several days of violence, Soviet troops restored order in the city and blamed rival nationalist paramilitaries for provoking confrontations.
The Soviet republic of Georgia boycotted March 17, 1991's all-Union referendum on the renewal of the Soviet Union called by Mikhail Gorbachev - but 52.3% of the Abkhazia's population (virtually all the ethnic non-Georgians) took part in the referendum and voted by an overwhelming majority (98.6%) to preserve the Union. Most ethnic non-Georgians later boycotted a March 31 referendum on Georgia’s independence, which was supported by a huge majority of Georgia's population. Within weeks, Georgia declared independence on 9 April 1991, under former Soviet dissident Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
Gamsakhurdia's rule soon became unpopular, and that December the Georgian National Guard, under the command of Tengiz Kitovani, laid siege to his government's offices in Tbilisi. After weeks of stalemate, he was forced to resign in January 1992. Former Soviet foreign minister and architect of the disintegration of the USSR Eduard Shevardnadze replaced Gamsakhurdia as president, inheriting a government dominated by hardline Georgian nationalists. He was not an ethnic nationalist but did little to avoid being seen as supporting his administration's dominant figures and the leaders of the coup that swept him to power.
On 21 February 1992, Georgia's ruling Military Council announced that it was abolishing the Soviet-era constitution and restoring the 1921 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Many Abkhaz interpreted this as an abolition of their autonomous status. On 23 जुलाई 1992, the scessionist Abkhazian regime declared effective independence from Georgia, although this gesture went unrecognised by any other country. The Georgian government accused Gamsakhurdia's supporters of kidnapping Georgia's interior minister and holding him captive in Abkhazia. The Georgian government dispatched 3,000 troops to the region, ostensibly to restore order. Heavy fighting between Tiblisi's forces and Abkhazian militia broke out in and around Sukhumi. The Abkhazian authorities rejected the legal government's claims, claiming that it was merely a pretext for an invasion. After about a week's fighting and many casualties on both sides, Georgian government forces took control of most of Abkhazia, and closed down the region's assembly.
The Abkhazians' military defeat was met with a hostile response by the self-styled Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus, an umbrella group uniting a number of pro-Russian movements in the North Caucasus, including Circassians, Abazas, Chechens, Cossacks, Ossetians and hundreds of volunteer paramilitaries from Russia, including the little-known Shamil Basayev, later a leader of the anti-Moscow Chechen secession, sided with the Abkhaz separatists to fight the Georgian government. Regular Russian forces also reportedly sided with the secessionsts. In September, the Abkhaz and Russian paramilitaries mounted a major offensive against Gagra after breaking a cease-fire, which drove the Georgian forces out of large swathes of the republic. Shevardnadze's government accused Russia of giving covert military support to the rebels with the aim of "detaching from Georgia its native territory and the Georgia-Russian frontier land". The year 1992 ended with the rebels in control of much of Abkhazia northwest of Sukhumi. The conflict remained stalemated until July 1993, when Abkhaz separatist militias launched an abortive attack on Georgian-held Sukhumi. They surrounded and heavily shelled the capital, where Shevardnadze was trapped. The warring sides declared a truce at the end of July, but it collapsed in mid-September 1993 after a renewed Abkhaz attack. After ten days of heavy fighting, Sukhumi fell on 27 September, 1993. Shevardnadze narrowly escaped death, after vowing to stay in the city no matter what. He was forced to flee when separatist snipers fired on the hotel where he was staying. Abkhaz, North Caucasian militants and their allies committed numerous atrocities against the city's remaining ethnic Georgians, in what has been dubbed the Sukhumi Massacre. The mass killings and destruction continued for two weeks, leaving thousands dead and missing.
The Abkhaz forces quickly overran the rest of Abkhazia as the Georgian government faced a second threat: an uprising by the supporters of the deposed Zviad Gamsakhurdia in the region of Mingrelia (Samegrelo). In the chaotic aftermath of defeat almost all ethnic Georgians fled the region, escaping an ethnic cleansing initiated by the victors (see Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia). Many thousands died — it is estimated that between 10,000-30,000 ethnic Georgians and 3,000 ethnic Abkhaz may have perished — and some 250,000 people (mostly Georgians) were forced into exile.
During the war, gross human rights violations were reported on the both sides (see Human Rights Watch report), and the ethnic cleansing committed by the Abkhaz forces and their allies is recognized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summits in Budapest (1994), Lisbon (1996) and Istanbul (1999).
Much of the politics in Abkhazia is dominated by the territorial dispute with Georgia, from which the territory seceded, and by the fight over the presidency in 2004/2005.
On 3 October 2004 presidential elections were held in Abkhazia. In the elections, Russia evidently supported Raul Khajimba, the prime minister backed by the ailing outgoing separatist President Vladislav Ardzinba. Posters of Russia's President Vladimir Putin together with Khajimba, who like Putin had worked as a KGB official, were everywhere in Sukhumi. Deputies of Russia's parliament and Russian singers, led by Joseph Kobzon, a deputy and a popular singer, came to Abkhazia campaigning for Khajimba.
However Raul Khajimba lost the elections to Sergey Bagapsh. The tense situation in the republic led to the cancellation of the election results by the Supreme Court. After that a deal was struck between former rivals to run jointly — Bagapsh as a presidential candidate and Khajimba as a vice presidential candidate. They received more than 90% of the votes in the new election.
The President appoints districts' heads from those elected to the districts assemblies. There are elected village assemblies whose heads are appointed by the districts heads.
The People's Assembly, consisting of 35 elected members, is vested with legislative powers. The last parliamentary elections were held on March 4, 2007. The ethnicities other than Abkhaz (Armenians, Russians and Georgians) are believed to be under-represented in the Assembly as the number of the parliamentarians of these ethnicities is less than their share in the republic population.
About 250,000 ethnic Georgian residents of Abkhazia are restricted from settling in the region by the Abkhazian separatist regime and cannot participate in the elections.
Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia[संपादित करें]
The Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, formerly known as The Council of Ministers of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic, is the only government that Georgia recognizes as the legal government of Abkhazia, which has been largely out of Georgia's control since 1993 due to the War in Abkhazia. After the Kodori crisis of 2006, the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, along with its ministers, relocated to the north-eastern part of Abkhazia (known as Upper Abkhazia) in Chkhalta.
The Council of Ministers of the autonomous republic was created during the Soviet period which included the Presidium where representatives (elected) from all regions in Abkhazia governed the affairs of the republic. The members of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Presidium included ethnic Georgians, Abkhaz and Armenians.
Zhiuli Shartava was elected as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers just before the outbreak of the war. When the hostilities reached their climax in 1992, the separatist wing of the government left the Presidium and moved to Gudauta. From Gudauta they started to arm militia groups (allegedly supplied by the Russian military base in Gudauta) which were used during the conflict.
The Council of Ministers remaining in Sukhumi still maintained its ethnic Abkhaz representatives, who rejected the separatist call for secession. Two of them, leading Abkhaz politician Raul Eshba and Sumbat Saakian, a representative of the ethnic Armenian Diaspora, refused to leave Sukhumi and stayed along with Zhiuli Shartava, Guram Gabiskiria and other members of the government in Sukhumi until the tragic events of September 27th 1993, when Shartava, Eshba, Gabiskiria, Saakian and other members of the government were tortured and killed by the separatists and their allies (see Sukhumi massacre). The remaining survivors of the government fled to the capital Tbilisi where they organized the headquarters of the Abkhaz government in exile headed by Tamaz Nadareishvili (great grandson of Abkhaz Prince Shervashidze). In 1998, Georgians in the Gali district (populated mainly by ethnic Georgians) of Abkhazia launched partisan activities against the de facto authorities in Sukhumi. The Abkhaz government in exile allegedly supported the rebel movement known as The White Legion. However, as a result of this insurrection, the Abkhaz separatist authorities launched a full scale attack on the Gali region, killing and expelling its ethnic Georgian inhabitants. In 2004, Nadareishvili died leaving the government in a disorganized state. After the Rose Revolution and Kodori events of 2006, the de jure Abkhaz government was revived and reorganized. Malkhaz Akishbaia, a Western-educated Abkhaz politician was elected in April 2006 and is the current head of the de jure Government of Abkhazia. Akishbaia appointed ethnic Abkhaz ministers Temur Mzhavia and Ada Marshania to key positions and included former members of Council of Ministers in his government. The government moved to Upper Abkhazia (within the administrative borders of the autonomous republic) with its headquarters in Chkhalta.
On September 27, 2006 President Mikheil Saakashvili, Nino Burjanadze, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and others members of the central government visited Kodori Valley and officially changed the name and designated the area as "Upper Abkhazia". President Saakashvili addressed the nation during the opening of de jure Government headquarters in Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia:
- "We are here – Upper Abkhazia, very close to Sokhumi - and we are not going to leave this place. We will return to Abkhazia very soon, but only through peaceful means...We have told every foreign ambassador in Georgia that Abkhazia and Tbilisi are not separate entities...From now on the protocol of each foreign diplomat [visiting Abkhazia], apart from trips to Sokhumi, will also include the route to Abkhazia’s administrative center in the village of Chkhalta where the chairman of the Abkhaz government is Malkhaz Akishbaia."
International involvement[संपादित करें]
The UN has played various roles during the conflict and peace process: a military role through its observer mission (UNOMIG); dual diplomatic roles through the Security Council and the appointment of a Special Envoy, succeeded by a Special Representative to the Secretary-General; a humanitarian role (UNHCR and UNOCHA); a development role (UNDP); a human rights role (UNCHR); and a low-key capacity and confidence-building role (UNV). The UN’s position has been that there will be no forcible change in international borders. Any settlement must be freely negotiated and based on autonomy for Abkhazia legitimized by referendum under international observation once the multi-ethnic population has returned. According to Western interpretations the intervention did not contravene international law since Georgia, as a sovereign state, had the right to secure order on its territory and protect its territorial integrity.
OSCE has increasingly engaged in dialogue with officials and civil society representatives in Abkhazia, especially from NGOs and the media, regarding human dimension standards and is considering a presence in Gali. OSCE expressed concern and condemnation over ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia during the 1994 Budapest Summit Decision and later at the Lisbon Summit Declaration in 1996.
The USA rejects the unilateral secession of Abkhazia and urges its integration into Georgia as an autonomous unit. In 1998 the USA announced its readiness to allocate up to $15 million for rehabilitation of infrastructure in the Gali region if substantial progress is made in the peace process. USAID has already funded some humanitarian initiatives for Abkhazia. The USA has in recent years significantly increased its military support to the Georgian armed forces but has stated that it would not condone any moves towards peace enforcement in Abkhazia.
On August 22, 2006, Senator Richard Lugar, then visiting Georgia's capital Tbilisi, joined the Georgian politicians in criticism of the Russian peacekeeping mission, stating that "the U.S. administration supports the Georgian government’s insistence on the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the conflict zones in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali district."
On October 5, 2006, Javier Solana, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, ruled out the possibility of replacing the Russian peacekeepers with the EU force." On October 10, 2006, EU South Caucasus envoy Peter Semneby noted that "Russia's actions in the Georgia spy row have damaged its credibility as a neutral peacekeeper in the EU's Black Sea neighbourhood."
On October 13, 2006, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution, based on a Group of Friends of the Secretary-General draft, extending the UNOMIG mission until April 15, 2007. Acknowledging that the "new and tense situation" resulted, at least in part, from the Georgian special forces operation in the upper Kodori Valley, urged the country to ensure that no troops unauthorized by the Moscow ceasefire agreement were present in that area. It urged the leadership of the Abkhaz side to address seriously the need for a dignified, secure return of refugees and internally displaced persons and to reassure the local population in the Gali district that their residency rights and identity will be respected. The Georgian side is "once again urged to address seriously legitimate Abkhaz security concerns, to avoid steps which could be seen as threatening and to refrain from militant rhetoric and provocative actions, especially in upper Kodori Valley". Calling on both parties to follow up on dialogue initiatives, it further urged them to comply fully with all previous agreements regarding non-violence and confidence-building, in particular those concerning the separation of forces. Regarding the disputed role of the peacekeepers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Council stressed the importance of close, effective cooperation between UNOMIG and that force and looked to all sides to continue to extend the necessary cooperation to them. At the same time, the document reaffirmed the "commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders."
The HALO Trust, an international non-profit organisation that specialises in the removal of the debris of war, has been active in Abkhazia for a long time and has completed the removal of land-mines in Sukhumi and Gali districts. It plans to finish its operations in 2007/2008 and to declare Abkhazia a "mine impact free" territory.
The population (including all ethnic groups) of Abkhazia are majority Orthodox Christians (appx 75%) and Sunni Muslims (appx 10%). Most of the ethnic Armenians living in Abkhazia belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. However, most of the people who declare themselves Christian or Muslim do not attend religious services. There is also a very small number of Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses and the followers of new religions. The Jehovah's Witnesses organization have officially been banned since 1995, though the decree is not currently enforced.
According to the constitutions of Georgia, Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and de facto Republic of Abkhazia the adherents of all religions (as well as atheists) have equal rights before the law.
Abkhazia is recognized by the Eastern Orthodox world as a canonical territory of the Georgian Orthodox Church, which has been unable to operate in the region since the War in Abkhazia. Currently, the religious affairs of local Orthodox Christian community is run by the self-imposed "Eparchy of Abkhazia" under significant influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Gallery of Abkhazia[संपादित करें]
See also[संपादित करें]
- Olga Oliker, Thomas S. Szayna. Faultlines of Conflict in Central Asia and the South Caucasus: Implications for the U.S. Army. Rand Corporation, 2003, ISBN 0-8330-3260-7
- Abkhazia: ten years on. By Rachel Clogg, Conciliation Resources, 2001
- Medianews.ge. Training of military operations underway in Abkhazia, August 21,2007
- Emmanuel Karagiannis. Energy and Security in the Caucasus. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-7007-1481-2
- GuardianUnlimited. 2143104,00.html Georgia up in arms over Olympic cash
- International Relations and Security Network. Kosovo wishes in Caucasus. By Simon Saradzhyan
- Full Report by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch. Georgia/Abkhazia. Violations of the laws of war and Russia's role in the conflict Helsinki, March 1995
- Chervonnaia, Svetlana Mikhailovna. Conflict in the Caucasus: Georgia, Abkhazia, and the Russian Shadow. Gothic Image Publications, 1994.
- BBC News, Abkhazia rallies for independence, 7.12.2006
- Amy McCallio, Rise of Abkhaz Separatism, YATT Publications, 2004.
- Abkhazia Today. The International Crisis Group Europe Report N°176, 15 सितंबर 2006, page 10. Retrieved on May 30, 2007. Free registration needed to view full report
- Press conference of Sergey Shamba, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, July 6, 2006 (रूसी)
- "К концу 2007 года 90 процентов граждан Абхазии должны получить "национальные" паспорта — Президент", abkhaziagov.org, May 29, 2007 (रूसी)
- Breakaway Abkhazia seeks recognition, Al-Jazeera, October 18, 2006.
- Abkhazia: Ways Forward, Europe Report N°179, 18 जनवरी 2007
- UN High Commissioner for refugees. Background note on the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Georgia remaining outside Georgia, 
- Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons – Mission to Georgia. United Nations: 2006.
- Resolution of the OSCE Budapest Summit, OSCE, 1994-12-06
- Georgia-Abkhazia: Profiles. Accord: an international review of peace initiatives. Reconciliation Resources. Accessed on April 2, 2007.
- Travel advice by country: Georgia. The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved on July 2, 2007; Consular Information Sheet: Georgia. The U.S. Department of State. Retrieved from Allsafetravels.com on July 2, 2007; Travel advisories: Georgia. Ministry of Foregin Affairs and Trade, New Zealand. Retrieved from Allsafetravels.com on July 2, 2007; Travel advice: Georgia. Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved from Allsafetravels.com on July 2, 2007; Travel advice: Georgia, Irish Government, Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved on July 2, 2007.
- Civil.ge, Abkhazia’s Beauty out of Sight, 22.08.2003
- Rosbalt.ru, Багапш: Все больше туристов приезжает в Абхазию (Bagapsh: More and more tourists come to Abkhazia), 01.09.2006 (रूसी)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia :: Consular Service
- Moscow Mayor Pledges More Investment in Abkhazia, Civil Georgia. July 9, 2007.
- Country Report 2007: Abkhazia (Georgia). The Freedom House. Accessed on October 3, 2007.
- Cornell, Svante E. (2001), Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, p. 156. Routledge (UK), ISBN 0-7007-1162-7)
- Müller, D, 1999. Demography: ethno-demographic history, 1886-1989 in The Abkhazians: A handbook. Richmond: Curzon Press.
- 1-я Всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г. Кутаисская губерния. Спб: 1905. С. 32б retrieved from "АБХАЗИЯ-1992: ПОСТОКОММУНИСТИЧЕСКАЯ ВАНДЕЯ" by Svetlana Chervonnaya
- Sukhum, Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedia
- Ментешашвили А.М. Исторические предпосылки современного сепаратизма в Грузии. - Тбилиси, 1998.
- JRL RESEARCH & ANALYTICAL SUPPLEMENT ~ JRL 8226, Issue No. 24 • May 2004. SPECIAL ISSUE; THE GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ CONFLICT: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
- 2003 Census statistics (रूसी)
- The International Crisis Group. Abkhazia Today. Europe Report N°176, p. 9. 15 September 2006.
- "Georgia." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 30 Apr. 2007.
- Statistical Yearbook of Georgia, 2005: Population (607kb, Microsoft Word Document). The State Department of Statistics of Georgia. Retrieved on April 30, 2007.
- Lortkipanidze M., The Abkhazians and Abkhazia, Tbilisi 1990.
- Abkhazia Today. The International Crisis Group Europe Report N°176, 15 सितंबर 2006, page 4. Retrieved on April 21, 2007. Free registration needed to view full report
- Causes and Visions of Conflict in Abkhazia. Ghia Nodia, 1997, page 27. Retrieved on August 5, 2007.
- Conciliation Resources. Georgia-Abkhazia, Chronology
- Парламентская газета (Parlamentskaya Gazeta). Референдум о сохранении СССР. Грузия строит демократию на беззаконии. Георгий Николаев, March 17, 2006 (रूसी)
- Chervonnaia, Svetlana Mikhailovna. Conflict in the Caucasus: Georgia, Abkhazia, and the Russian Shadow. Gothic Image Publications, 1994, Introduction
- CSCE Budapest Document 1994, Budapest Decisions, Regional Issues
- Lisbon OSCE Summit Declaration
- Istanbul OSCE Summit Declaration
- * Zarkovic Bookman, Milica (1997). The Demographic Struggle for Power: The Political Economy of Demographic Engineering in the Modern World. आई॰ऍस॰बी॰ऍन॰ 0714647322.
- Tbilisi-Based Abkhaz Government Moves to Kodori, Civil Georgia, July 27 2006. URL accessed on 2007-07-28.
- Abkhazia: UN Reports Progress, 26.01.2007
- Conflict in the Caucasus: Georgia, Abkhazia, and the Russian Shadow, S. A. Chervonnaia
- Federal practice : exploring alternatives for Georgia and Abkhazia, Coppieters, Bruno
- Inheritance of history : ethnic conflicts in Soviet and Post-Soviet Central Asia Mohapatra, Nalin Kumar.
- Civil.ge, Tbilisi Turns Kodori into ‘Temporary Administrative Center’ of Abkhazia, 27.09.2006
- Resolutions 849, 854, 858, 876, 881 and 892 adopted by the UN Security Council
- From the Resolution of the OSCE Budapest Summit, 6 December 1994 
- Lisbon Summit Declaration of the OSCE, 2-3 दिसम्बर 1996
- U.S. Senator Urges Russian Peacekeepers’ Withdrawal From Georgian Breakaway Republics. (MosNews).
- Solana fears Kosovo 'precedent' for Abkhazia, South Ossetia. (International Relations and Security Network).
- Russia 'not neutral' in Black Sea conflict, EU says, EUobserver, October 10, 2006.
- SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS GEORGIA MISSION UNTIL 15 APRIL 2007, The UN Department of Public Information, October 13, 2006.
- The HALO Trust. Abkhazia
- Flashpoints Site Directory. Abkhazia-Georgia
- Александр Крылов. ЕДИНАЯ ВЕРА АБХАЗСКИХ "ХРИСТИАН" И "МУСУЛЬМАН". Особенности религиозного сознания в современной Абхазии.
- Georgia: International Religious Freedom Report 2005. The United States Department of State. Retrieved on May 24, 2007.
- Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia, art. 12 (रूसी)
|विकिमीडिया कॉमन्स पर Abkhazia से सम्बन्धित मीडिया है।|
- (अंग्रेजी)/(रूसी)/(तुर्की में)/साँचा:Ab icon President of the Republic of Abkhazia. Official site
- (अंग्रेजी)/(रूसी) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia. Official Site
- (अंग्रेजी) BBC Regions and territories: Abkhazia
- (अंग्रेजी) The Autonomous Republic of Abkhazeti - from Georgian National Parliamentary Library
- (अंग्रेजी) Abkhazia.com Official website of the refugees from Abkhazia
- (रूसी) Abkhazian news
- (रूसी) State Information Agency of the Abkhaz Republic
- (अंग्रेजी) Abkhazia Provisional Paper Money
- (रूसी) Orthodox Churches of Abkhazia
- (रूसी) Archaeology and ethnography of Abkhazia. Abkhaz Institute of Social Studies. Abkhaz State Museum