Gali district population protests against closing border crossing checkpoints
4out of 6 border crossing checkpoints (CCPs) have been closed on the Abkhaz-Georgian border today. The Abkhaz authorities are going to finally leave only 1 CCP on the Ingur Bridge.
In this regard, about 120 residents of Gali district have organized a protest rally and blocked the road in Nabakia settlement. That’s the place where one of the CCPs was operating up to now. But it will be closed from now on.
According to the locals, it will be problematic for them to get to the ‘Ingur’ CCP, the only checkpoint left so far. Many of them will have to travel 15-30 kilometers by bus and then walk some 800meters more across the bridge to the Georgian side.
District law-enforcement officials met with the protesters. The rally participants dispersed after the meeting.
“The overwhelming majority of the Abkhaz population demanded to close all crossings but one. It took the authorities 2,4 years to meet [this request] and fulfill their pledge,” Temur Nadaraia, the Head of Gali district administration, told Apsnypress news agency.
He stressed that the Abkhaz authorities had made great efforts to mitigate the consequences of this decision for Gali district residents.
“RUB153million [approx. US$2,5 million] have been invested so that Gali residents could comfortably get to the ‘Ingur’ CCPby newly repaired road. Public transport has been put into operation. The ‘Ingur’ CCP capacity has been also increased. People, who are discontent with the aforesaid decision, are mostly those, who were engaged in smuggling and illegal business,” said Nadaraia.
Under the Abkhaz government’s decree, from today on, only 2 border crossing checkpoints will be operating on the Ingur River. The ‘Aberkyt’ checkpoint will be temporarily functioning in the lower area. Later it is planned to leave only one border crossing checkpoint on the Ingur Bridge.
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