Palestinian refugees who wanted to enter Russia found in Abkhazia
Palestinian refugees in Abkhazia
A group of refugees from Palestine consisting of 13 people, including children, was discovered while trying to illegally enter the territory of Abkhazia from Georgia. They were detained by Russian border guards guarding the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone under an agreement with the authorities of the republic. The group were trying to reach Russia.
The Abkhazian authorities decided not to punish them, but refused to allow them to stay because of the “current economic situation”. The refugees were returned to the Georgian side with the mediation of international organizations.
“They wanted to get to Russia. They were told in Georgia that it lay beyond the Ingur River,” Secretary of the Security Council of Abkhazia Sergei Shamba said.
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The Abkhazian government’s policy towards refugees is very tough, and not only because of weak economy. The main reason is fear among Abkhazians of becoming an ethnic minority in their homeland.
The only time Abkhazia voluntarily accepted refugees was related to the war in Syria. In 2013, representatives of the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry organized transportation of more than five hundred ethnic Abkhazians from Syria, whose families had been expelled to the Ottoman Empire.
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