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Tbilisi asks Tskhinval’s forgiveness2011-07-14 19:28
On July 11 not far away from the Georgian-South Ossetian border a new tragedy struck ending in the death of a young woman as a result of random shooting. Naturally, Georgian mass media declared the Ossetian side as responsible for the shootout. The authorities of South Ossetia were quick to refute their involvement in the incident. No one would have believed them but after a while representatives of the Georgian interior ministry phoned Tskhinval excusing for false information. This acknowledgement takes Georgians beyond the context of the cold war between two sides.
of the cold war between two sides.
Nana Koberidze, 25, a resident of a Georgian village near the border with South Ossetia, was wounded to death as a result of random shooting or, according to a different report, a series of single shots. Since the incident took place in direct proximity to the border with South Ossetia, Georgian mass media immediately put all the blame onto Ossetians. Representatives of official Tskhinval were quick to refute the information but could they compete with Georgia's media machine?
Strangely enough, Tbilisi did provide a refutation with Georgian security officials apologizing for wrong interpretation of the information. As it turned out, the shots came from the territory of Sakartvelo. The history of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict has never had a similar refutation! Tskhinval is puzzled what it implies. Merab Chigoev, deputy plenipotentiary representative of the president of the republic of South Ossetia for post-conflict settlement presented an official position of the Ossetian side. As he says, probably, the refutation and apologies came as a result of an unbiased investigation into the circumstances of the young woman's death by representatives of the EU Monitoring Mission to Georgia who actually informed authorities of South Ossetia of the incident.
However, official Tskhinval is no more satisfied with just an apology from Georgia's security forces. Merab Chigoev demands that refutation be published on Georgian media sites that posted the news item about shots coming from the Ossetian side.
Indeed, it is quite likely that official Tbilisi had to apologize to the authorities of South Ossetia under EUMM's pressure. Yet, the case has other details too. The Georgian ministry of interior does not want to complicate relationships with South Ossetian security officials. Lately law-enforcement bodies of both states have been contacting with each other as a sort of cooperation. Naturally, these contacts are informal, but they must be important to the Georgian side. And probably to the South Ossetian side too.