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U.S. Department of State
96/01/12 USUN Press Release #002-(96)
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
 


 
FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY                USUN PRESS RELEASE #002-(96) 
CHECK TEXT AGAINST DELIVERY                        JANUARY 12, 1996 
 
 
Statement by Ambassador Karl F. Inderfurth, United States Representative 
for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations, on the Extension of 
UNOMIG, in the Security Council, in Explanation of Vote, January 12, 
1996 
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Mr. President, the United States would like to take this opportunity to 
express its firm support for the extension of the United Nations 
Observer Mission in Georgia, UNOMIG.  UNOMIG has served as a positive 
element in the international community's efforts to resolve the conflict 
in Georgia, and the United States is pleased that, through this 
resolution, UNOMIG will be able to continue operations over the next six 
months. 
 
The United States deeply regrets the lack of progress between the 
parties in achieving a political solution to the conflict in Georgia.  
The resolution adopted today calls upon the parties, in particular the 
Abkhaz side, to achieve substantive progress without further delay 
towards a comprehensive political settlement.  The Abkhaz should take 
note that the Security Council has not wavered in its absolute support 
for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.  And yet, 
broad autonomy is available to the Abkhaz people -- with their own 
parliament, constitution, courts and other state symbols -- if they 
would negotiate within the parameters suggested by Special Envoy Brunner 
and the Russian Federation. 
 
The Abkhaz-Georgian conflict created a quarter of a million refugees and 
displaced person.  Only an insignificant trickle have returned to their 
homes.  The resolution demands that the Abkhaz side accelerate 
significantly the voluntary return of refugees.  Moreover, the Council 
calls upon the Abkhaz, as a first step, to promote the return of 
refugees and displaced person to the Gali region, a traditional Georgian 
area. 
 
The human rights situation in Gali and throughout Abkhazia is of great 
concern.  We support the efforts of Deputy Special Envoy Bota, working 
in conjunction with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Ayala 
Lasso, and the OSCE to establish a program for the protection and 
promotion of human rights in Abkhazia.  The pervasive lawlessness and 
incidents of ethnically-based abuse throughout the security zone have 
had a destabilizing effect.  The sort of killings described in the 
letter from the Ambassador of Georgia, although still under 
investigation, contribute to this instability and thus discourage the 
return of refugees and displaced persons. 
 
The United States calls on all parties in Georgia to cooperate with 
UNOMIG and to allow its personnel to carry out their mission without 
interference or opposition.  UNOMIG can maximize its contribution to 
bringing peace and stability in Georgia only if it can operate freely 
and with the cooperation of all parties to the cease-fire it is charged 
with monitoring. 
 
The resolution contains a provision allowing the Security Council to 
review UNOMIG's mandate if there are changes in the  recently expired 
mandate of the CIS peacekeeping force operating in Georgia; we expect 
that the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping force will be renewed and that 
UNOMIG will consequently be able to maintain its operations as 
contemplated in the resolution.  The United States would like to commend 
the excellent cooperation between UNOMIG and the CIS peacekeeping force 
and hopes that such cooperation will continue as long as both are 
operating in Georgia. 
 
The resolution properly recognizes the positive effect of the 
presidential and parliamentary elections held in Georgia in November, 
1995, which resulted in the election of Eduard Shevardnadze as 
president.   
 
Finally, the United States would like to express its appreciation for 
the efforts of Special Envoy Brunner and for the Russian Federation, as 
facilitator, for their cooperative initiatives in trying to lead the 
parties to a negotiated settlement and also for the fine work of Deputy 
Special Envoy Bota, who as resident Deputy Special Envoy, has had a 
positive effect on UNOMIG and its operations. 
 
Thank you, Mr. President. 
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