May 20, the Ossetian people recall the most horrific date of the 1991-1992 Georgian-Ossetian conflict. 31 years ago, a convoy traveling from South Ossetia to North Ossetia was attacked and fired by unidentified individuals in the village of Dzari in the Java district. 32 people were killed, including children; 16 were injured. The violence of unheard brutality in Dzari left us with an incurable wound on both sides of the conflict.
Due to the distrust and alienation created by the war, neither in the 90s nor today can we share grief and mourn together. However, we want our Ossetian compatriots, friends and relatives to know that the Dzari tragedy is a tragedy of Georgia, first of all, due to the fact that such a thing happened, we accepted it, tolerated it and could not ensure justice for those who lost family members. Secondly, none of the authorities have taken measures to inform all the citizens of the country of this calamity. Thirdly, none of the authorities deemed it necessary to personally offer condolences to the families who lost their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children. Fourthly, even today we cannot share our sincere condolences with our Ossetian compatriots and tell them that their pain, which cannot be alleviated by our words, is a heavy pain for us too.
We have high hopes that our Ossetian friends, who are alienated from the rest of Georgia, will hear our voice and know that the massacre in Dzari is a tragedy of Georgia. With this statement, the Democracy Research Institute reminds all citizens of our divided country that it is inadmissible to repeat such a crime. For this we call on the Georgian authorities to:
- State its official position on the Dzari tragedy
- Establish a parliamentary commission to review and complete the investigation launched years ago
- Ensure the investigation of the Dzari tragedy to identify all the perpetrators and to bring them to justice
- Inform Georgian citizens about the Dzari tragedy, who have the right to know what happened on May 20, 1992 in the village of Dzari, Java district
- In order to immortalize the memory of the victims of the Dzari tragedy, declare May 20 as a Day of Remembrance to honor all those who died on both sides of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.
Conflicts start easily, but are very difficult to resolve. Mistrust and irreconcilability with each other, resentment and pain of the past do not allow us to take the past and the policies conditioned by the past to a human, moral dimension and to have clear conscience relating to specific cases of crime, cruelty and injustice.
The memory of people who died in the massacre on May 20, 1992 obliges us to be righteous before them and their families. We believe that loud tribute to the memory of innocent victims will help us understand each other and begin the process of rebuilding trust together.