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UN extends mandate for observer mission in Georgia by 4 months2008-10-09 21:30
The UN Security Council has extended the mandate for the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) by four months, until February 15, 2009, reports RIA-Novosti.gt-en-newsitem-inside
UNOMIG observers monitor the situation in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone, including in the Kodori Gorge on Abkhaz territory. The mission, deployed in the conflict zone since 1993, is currently represented by 103 observers from around two dozen countries.
The mandate is usually extended by six months or a year. The shorter extension could indicate differences regarding the mission's future operation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko earlier said the renewed mandate may focus on preventing clashes and provocation in areas adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
He also said the mission's name should be changed, replacing the word "Georgia" with the word "Abkhazia".
Russia launched a five-day military operation to "force Georgia to accept peace" after Georgian troops attacked breakaway South Ossetia on August 8, killing a number of Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians.
Russia's response to the Georgian attack was labeled "disproportionate" by a number of Western powers. On August 26, Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.
The two republics broke away from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s amid armed conflicts that claimed thousands of lives.