PROTOCOL OF THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE COORDINATING COUNCIL OF THE GEORGIAN AND ABKHAZIAN SIDES

The Fifth Session of the Coordinating Council set up based on the final declaration of the meeting of the Georgian and Abkhazian sides (Geneva, 17-19 November 1997) was held in Sukhumi on 2 September 1998 under the auspices of the United Nations, chaired by the UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative Mr. Liviu Bota.

The agenda of the meeting comprised the following items:

1. Problems relating to sustained non-resumption of combat operations and security problems;

2. Refugees and persons displaced within the country;

3. Economic and social problems.

The Georgian side was represented by the delegation headed by Mr. Vazha Lordkipanidze.

The Abkhazian side was represented by the delegation headed by Mr. Sergey Bagapsh.

The opening the session, the UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative Mr. Liviu Bota proposed to concentrate the attention of the participants on three issues:

1. Full implementation of the Gagra Protocol;

2. Elaboration of mechanisms for prevention and investigation of violations of the Moscow Agreement on Cease-fire and Separation of Forces;

3. The sidesí attitude toward the protests of UNOMIG and CIS CPKF.

Representatives of the sides, the Russian Federation acting as a facilitating side, OSCE, and the UN Secretary Generalís group of friends, made statements.

The commander of the CIS CPKF General Sergey Korobko and the chief UN military observer of the UNOMIG General Harun Ar-Rashid reported on the current situation in the conflict zone.

The Council made the following decisions:

1. Based on the necessity of stopping the dangerous escalation of tension threatening with renewed armed clashes, the sides shall:

a) Take effective measures aimed at stopping the continuing exchanges of fire across the line of division of the sides at the nighttime;

b) Take measures aimed at preventing terrorist and subversive groups, armed formations, and individuals from crossing the line of division of the sides;

c) The Abkhazian side shall take measures aimed at protecting the peaceful residents of Gali District from unlawful acts of violence.

2. To set up a joint group consisting of representatives of the sides, UNOMIG, and CIS CPKF for investigation and prevention of terrorist attacks and other violations of the law. The group led by the UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative shall in two weeks time elaborate the statute on the functioning of the group and submit it along the way to members of the Coordination Council for adoption. This statute shall include procedural rules, including the list members, the manner of convocation, directives for investigation, proposals on implementation of conclusions Georgia will make during the work performed;

3. The sides undertake the obligation to study and react to the protests submitted by the UNOMIG and CIS CPKF concerning violations of the Moscow Agreement on Cease-fire and Separation of Forces. In case the sides continue disregarding the protests submitted by the UNOMIG and CIS CPKF, the UN Secretary General shall report to the Security Council thereon.

4. To ask the UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative to recommence negotiations between the sides on the elimination of the consequences of developments in May with the view of safe return of refugees and measures of economic rehabilitation of Abkhazia.

5. To amend Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Statute of the Coordination Council and formulate the first sentence of the paragraph in the following way: ďFour representatives of the Georgian and Abkhazian sides each become members of the Council.Ē

6. The UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative, representatives of the Russian Federation as a facilitating side, the countries, members of the UN Secretary Generalís group of friends, and OSCE adopted the decision (appended).

Appendix

The UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative, representatives of the Russian Federation as a facilitating side, the countries, members of the UN Secretary Generalís group of friends, and OSCE urge the sides to stop actions aggravating the situation in the conflict zone and able to lead to renewal of armed clashes.

It is meant that both sides shall stop building military engineering structures and eliminate them with the forces of the sides under the surveillance of the UNOMIG and CIS CPKF during a period of thirty days.

2 September 1998

(Abkhaz Issue in Official Documents, Legislative and Executive organs of Georgia, International Organizations, 1989-1999, part II, 1995-1999; authors: Vakhtang Kholbaia, Teimuraz Chakhrakia, Rafiel Gelantia, David Latsuzbaia, Tb., 2000, p. 252-254/in Georgan)