Searching for people missing in connection with the 1992–1993 armed conflict in Abkhazia

Searching for people missing in connection with the 1992–1993 armed conflict in Abkhazia

The coordination mechanism consisting of Abkhaz and Georgian participants that is seeking to account for 1,860 people, who went missing in connection with the 1992–93 armed conflict in Abkhazia and after, held its 16th meeting on 29 May in Istanbul, Türkiye. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) chaired the meeting in its capacity as a neutral intermediary.
Article 29 May 2024 Georgia

Besides an update on the progress made since the last meeting, held in December 2023, the discussions emphasized the need to search for additional information on possible burial sites and the ongoing challenges related to the identification process more than 30 years after people went missing.

Since the establishment of the coordination mechanism, the remains of 526 people have been found and exhumed, out of which 285 were identified and handed over to their families for a dignified burial, 

said Agnès Coutou, the ICRC Envoy on Missing Persons in the Caucasus, who chaired the meeting. "However, 1,860 people are still unaccounted for. A dialogue between the participants, grounded in the humanitarian principles of the coordination mechanism, is critical to securing progress and ultimately providing answers to families," she added.

Under international humanitarian law (IHL), families have the right to know what happened to their missing loved ones. The coordination mechanism to clarify the whereabouts of people unaccounted for during the conflict of 1992–93 and after was established in 2010 under the auspices of the ICRC. The ICRC provides support to the mechanism, including technical expertise, in its capacity as a neutral humanitarian organization.

For further information, please contact:
Maya Kardava, ICRC Tbilisi, tel.: +995 5 99 55 88 18
Boris Kazanba, ICRC Sukhum/i, tel.: +794 09 215 373