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Military

Rotation of Russian peacekeepers over in Abkhazia

RIA Novosti

10/12/2007 15:39 MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - A planned rotation of Russian peacekeepers' units in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone is over, an aide to the CIS joint peacekeeping forces commander said Monday.

"A train with our peacekeepers onboard went through customs Monday, crossed the Russian border and is moving toward its constant deployment site in Maikop," Lt.-Col. Alexander Diordiyev said.

The rotation was in line with a May 1994 ceasefire agreement, as well as the mandate on a peacekeeping operation in the conflict zone between Georgia and the self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia.

Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following a bloody conflict that left hundreds dead in 1991-1992, and peacekeepers have been stationed in the region ever since.

There have been frequent and mutual accusations of ceasefire violations from both Abkhazia and Georgia, whose then President Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to regain control of the region. Peace talks broke off when Tbilisi sent troops into Kodori Gorge in July last year and established an alternative Abkhaz administration there.



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