Georgia: Remains of 23 people missing in connection with 1992–93 armed conflict handed over to families
The families had the opportunity to ask questions and receive information about the process of the search, recovery of remains and identification of their loved ones at meetings held at Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau. The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia (SMR) Tea Akhvlediani, representatives of the National Forensics Bureau and ICRC experts attended the meetings.
"On behalf of the ICRC, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the families. They have finally received the remains of their relatives, after decades of not knowing what happened to their loved ones; it is a very special moment for them.
"Today, we also think about all other families whose relatives are still unaccounted for, and who are still struggling with this uncertainty. Close cooperation between institutions and civil society is essential to ensure effective support for those whose loved ones are still missing.
"This year, the Georgian authorities, under the leadership of the SMR, have significantly stepped up their involvement in the support of families, organizing commemoration and other events. The process of transition, by which Georgian authorities take increased responsibility with regard to the search of missing people, forensic work and in providing support to the families of the missing, will continue in 2024. Families need to be closely associated with these processes to ensure their views are taken into account and to inform future decisions," said Anne Montavon, head of the ICRC delegation in Georgia.
The remains of more than 55 people were identified and returned to their families in 2023. This was possible within the framework of the humanitarian Coordination Mechanism on Persons Unaccounted For in Connection with the Events of the 1992–1993 Armed Conflict and After, involving Abkhaz and Georgian participants, operating with the ICRC's support since 2010. The remains of the missing people were recovered from different locations in Abkhazia.
Since the inception of the coordination mechanism in 2010, the remains of 273 people have been identified and handed over to their families. In total 1,870 people, including military personnel and civilians, are still reported as missing in connection with the armed conflict of 1992–93.
For further information, please contact:
Sophio Elizbarashvili, ICRC Tbilisi, tel.: +995599501464
Boris Kazanba, ICRC Sukhum/i, tel.: +79409215373