Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday said he was pleased with the United Nations (UN) resolution on recognizing the rights of refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia breakaway regions to return to their homes.
“This is a little diplomatic victory. The final victory will come when the occupiers leave our territory and our people get back their homes and their motherland in full,” Saakashvili said. “To do that, we will have to win many small diplomatic battles with the resources that we have.”
On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly approved the resolution called “Status of the Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia,” by a 50-17 margin.
Around 128,000 people fled South Ossetia and Abkhazia during and after the 2008 war. Most of them have returned to their home land but close to 26,000 people are still unable to go back to their homes.
About 6 percent of Georgia’s population is displaced, that represents about 246,000 citizens. About 220,000 left their home land during the conflicts in the early 1990’s.
Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states after the August 2008 war, along Nicaragua and Venezuela. Georgia still considers the region as part of its country, as most of the world’s governments do.
On August 11, Russia deployed S-300 missile and air defense systems in Abkhazia, in order to protect the airspace of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia also has military bases in both states.