On 14 January, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) received a visit from the German Parliamentary Secretary of State in the Defence Ministry, Mr. Thomas Kossendey, and German parliamentarians from the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees of the Bundestag (the German parliament). The delegation was briefed by the Deputy Head of Mission, General Gilles Janvier, on the daily work and main challenges lying ahead for the EUMM.
Since the start of its operations, EUMM has carried out over 1,400 patrols. Its timely presence on the ground on 1 October 2008 with more than 200 observers was one of the preconditions for the withdrawal of the Russian armed forces from the adjacent zones to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since then, many internally displaced persons have been able to return to their homes within the adjacent areas.
One of the key parts of the EUMM’s mandate is confidence-building: contributing to the re-establishment of mutual trust between all the parties of the conflict. One important first step in this direction is to enhance the visibility and distinguishing features of the Georgian police forces according to European standards. The German delegation was informed about ongoing EUMM discussions with the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs on these questions.
The delegation also took great interest in the situation in and around the conflict zones after Russia vetoed the extension of the OSCE mandate at the end of December.