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Contradictions in Ban Ki-moon’s report2009-05-25 21:23
In spite of positive moves in the UN's stand on Abkhazia Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's report contains some clauses the Abkhazian side cannot accept. It was stated by President Sergey Bagapsh on May 21.
"The so-called 12-km security zone in the area of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict is out of question, - Bagapsh stated at the meeting with Michael Davenport in charge of Russia, South Caucasus and Central Asia at the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the republic's government press service reports. According to the Abkhaz leader the republic is neither happy about its status at the Geneva talks. "We are given a role of unequal participants. Abkhazia could do without these meetings, and the current approach makes us reconsider the issue of our participation".
Abkhazia's negative reaction to the creation of security zones mentioned in Ban Ki-moon's report was not unexpected. First of all the new republic is getting back to peaceful life keeping war out of its mind. Secondly on June 1 Russian border guards will start their combat duty in order to help their Abkhaz colleagues as set forth in the Treaty on Joint Border Control of April 30. In this situation only the Russian militaries can guarantee preservation of peace in South Caucasus for the republic.
However according to the UN Secretary General's concept both Russian-Abkhaz units and Georgian militaries must leave the near-border territory that is supposed to be controlled by the United Nations Stabilization Mission. The question is: will it be able to provide security in such an explosive region? Now it seems very doubtful. As Ban Ki-moon's proposals look very much like the Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces signed in Moscow in 1994. Over 14 years the recurrent incidents on the Georgian-Abkhazian border had become a norm and on August 30 2008 Tbilisi simply canceled the agreement. The UN used no sanctions then. Even now there are no guarantees the story won't be repeated. By the way Georgia that is now concentrating its forces on the borders with the young republic is unlikely to accept the demilitarization of the near-border zone clause.
As for Ban Ki-moon's other proposals Abkhazia and Russia may very well back them for they might be really efficient.