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After five-month blockade the road was opened for the residents of Akhalgori district

28.01.2020

 
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli 

After 5-month isolation, first time since August 30, 2019, the crossing point was opened on January 24, 2020 for one part of the residents of the occupied Akhalgori district based on the decision of the Tskhinvali de-facto government. The latter allowed the retired people to travel to the Georgia controlled territory as well as the people, who needed medical assistance. For the past five months, they were not allowed to get the pension of the state of Georgia and see their family members. 

“During the five months, we could not get pensions for what we used to buy products for debt in the local shops; now we will take our pensions and will pay the debts, if it will be enough. We have not seen our family members, who live in Tserovani IDP settlement, for five months. So we will spend those ten days with our children and grandchildren. Then we will have to go back again and nobody knows when we will have next chance to come,” the resident of the occupied region said.

Akhalgori municipality governor Nugzar Tinikashvili said one and half month ago the doctors established a commission in Akhalgori hospital, which makes decisions on the transportation of sick people to Tbilisi.

“The representatives of the de-facto government act based on some lists and allow those people to leave the occupied district, who get pensions in the Georgia-controlled territory. They gave 10 days to the retired people to get their pensions here, get medical service and then will have to return to their houses in Akhalgori. Hopefully, these people will have similar chance in future too. About one month and half ago a commission was created in Akhalgori hospital, which makes decisions on sending the patients to Tbilisi based hospitals,” district governor Nugzar Tinikashvili said. 

The residents of the occupied Akhalgori district were banned to travel to the Georgia-controlled territory and closed the crossing point on August 30, 2019. Tskhinvali de-facto government made the decision in connection with the arrangement of a new police blockpost in Georgia-controlled village of Chorchana, Khashuri municipality. They stated that the post, which was located close to the Ossetian village of Tsnelisi, created threats to the safety of their citizens. The de-facto government of Tskhinvali made the statement during several meetings in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism. The Government of Georgia responded that the police blockpost in Chorchana village did not create any threats for the residents of the Ossetian villages. The parties could not reach agreement over the police point and the de-facto government decided to close the crossing point in Akhalgori district. It was hard decision for the local residents. During five months, about 10 people died because their families were not allowed to take the patients to the Tbilisi hospitals and they could not get adequate medical treatment on the place. Because of prohibited movement, the sick people could not continue medical treatments, and retired people could not get pensions. The locals urged both the central government of Georgia and de-facto government of Tskhinvali for help. On December 26, 2019, before the New Year, de-facto president of Tskhinvali region Anatoli Bibolov visited Akhalgori district, where locals met him with protest and demanded him to open the closed road. As a result, the de-facto government allowed the residents of the district to travel to the Georgia-controlled territory and stay there for 10 days. 

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