Local population leaves Akhalgori

The de facto authorities of South Ossetia has launched the so-called "Family Reunification Programme”, which aims to relocate the local population to the areas controlled by the central government where their family members live. As a result, the local population will have to leave their homes in Akhalgori forever.

According to the Democracy Research Institute, there are currently about 280 people on the list of people wishing to be enrolled in the "Family Reunification Programme”. This number is alarming for Akhalgori, which has been left by a large part of population since 2008.

The de facto South Ossetian government's "Family Reunification" programme is a "legal" way of removing ethnic Georgians from Akhalgori.

Anyone wishing to leave Akhalgori must first pay all utility bills and fines and submit the relevant documents to the local security service. In addition, it is necessary for them to obtain documents proving that their families are really waiting for them on the other side of the so-called border. The most important and dangerous part of the programme is the content of the "exit document", according to which, the person leaving the district will not be allowed to return and will not reclaim the property he/she is leaving in Akhalgori.

Despite the above conditions, the population left in desperate socio-economic conditions, despair and hopelessness, try to leave their homes and move to the territory controlled by Tbilisi.

The policy pursued by the Russian Federation and the local de facto authorities over the years was aimed at artificially creating the gravest conditions in Akhalgori in order to completely remove the undesirable Georgian population from the district, which should be described as silent ethnic cleansing.

The Democracy Research Institute calls on the Georgian authorities to:

  • Use all available mechanisms to inform the international community about the worst humanitarian crisis in Akhalgori
  • Take all possible measures to alleviate the situation of the remaining local population in Akhalgori.