ERGNETI, 23 September 2022 - The 108th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held today in Ergneti, under the co-facilitation of Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) and Ambassador Viorel Moşanu, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus.
The EUMM and OSCE representatives commended the commitment of the participants to the IPRM. The co-facilitators welcomed the temporary openings of crossing points during the Lomisoba religious celebrations in June and in late August. They also assessed as a positive step the announcements that temporary openings of two crossing points would continue during the last ten days of each month until December 2022, reiterating their calls for the full resumption of freedom of movement across the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) for the benefit of local communities. The co-facilitators took note of the participants’ readiness to consider further steps in this regard. They pointed to the situation of the conflict-affected population, highlighting how women, children and elderly were facing particular challenges.
Ambassadors Szczygieł and Moşanu commended the recent release of detainees and urged a humanitarian approach towards resolution of existing detention cases.
IPRM participants discussed additional issues that negatively impact the lives and livelihoods of the population living along the ABL, including access to education, continued ‘borderisation’ activities, as well as access to irrigation and drinking water, a problem aggravated by the dry summer season. In this regard, the co-facilitators stressed the importance of the EUMM-managed Hotline to facilitate the exchange of information on irrigation and maintain regular communication.
The co-facilitators encouraged all participants to commit to a non-confrontational behaviour with regard to any security developments along the ABL, while highlighting the need for continuation of the effective use of the Hotline to defuse tensions and build confidence among the IPRM participants.
The participants agreed to convene the next regular meeting on 10 November 2022.