Annan laments lack of substantive dialogue in GeorgianAbkhaz conflict

Mr. Annan welcomes the discussions on security guarantees and the return of refugees, but cautions that without a comprehensive political settlement, “the situation in the conflict zone will continue to be unsettled and prone to destabilization.”The report to the Security Council also describes the human rights situation in Abkhazia as precarious and morale-sapping for civilians, noting that numerous murders, robberies and abductions go unpunished.”A number of cases of prolonged detention, violation of the right to legal protection, extortion and use of violence by uniformed Abkhaz personnel were reported,” the report says.The Secretary-General urges the Abkhaz side to allow UN civilian police to be deployed on its side of the ceasefire line, as previously agreed.He also repeats his call on the Abkhaz leadership to take advantage of the new Georgian Government and respond constructively to offers of direct dialogue on all the major issues in dispute.The report blames political situation ahead of Abkhaz elections scheduled for October for slowing the pace of the peace process.Given the instability, Mr. Annan recommends that the Security Council extend the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) for six months until 31 January next year.UNOMIG, consisting of 117 military observers and 11 civilian police, was established in August 1993 to monitor ceasefire lines established after an accord ended fighting that had forced almost 300,000 people to flee their homes.

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