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Thursday, 27 October 2016


From Abkhazia to Georgia: By law or wade?

2012-11-09 17:39

From Abkhazia to Georgia: By law or wade?. 28676.jpeg

A queue has recently formed on the Georgian-Abkhaz border. People say that sometimes they have to wait for half a day in order to cross the border. On the border of the two states which are in a state of war everything is in order now: the troops, barbed wire and tough access control. But the local population does not like this format of the functioning of the border.


"Epic" about folk heroes, wading the border river Inguri in the villages of the Gali district of Abkhazia close to the border, passes from mouth to mouth for many years. It's not always safe to wade one of the largest rivers in the region, and there were many tragedies. But even now, people try not to change old habits, and if they have to cross the border to go to Georgia, they prefer to use the paths, rather than the official checkpoint.

In the last couple of years it is even more dangerous to do this than before. This is due to the fact that now there are Russian border guards, whose main task is to establish a full-fledged border here. They detain those who cross the river in the wrong places. They transmit the violators to the Abkhaz security services.

But in spite of all obstacles, the motivation to pass the border river remains as long as new checkpoints appear in different parts of the district. The only official checkpoint on the main road is located in the most convenient place - right in the middle, between the plain and the mountainous parts of the region. But for the inhabitants of the villages, which are sometimes dozens kilometers away, it is a big problem to get to the checkpoint.

Cross-border village of Otobaya is nearly twenty kilometers from the checkpoint, but in fact Georgia is really near; but no one can cancel the real life in an agricultural region. "My animals do not understand what the border is. They go to the other side of the river. What should I do? I go for them to return home. I get caught on the way back. They fine me. I have to pay money, which I needed to buy flour", says a resident of Otobaya.

Locals still hope on the Abkhaz authorities, who have promised to open new checkpoints in places more convenient to the public. This is about the so-called lower zone of the region, where most of the local population lives. Sergei Bagapsh promised to do this; and the current President of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab does not oppose this.

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