Sergey Shamba Criticizes De Facto Leadership of Abkhazia

Sergey Shamba, de facto ex-PM of breakaway Abkhazia, who is currently a member of the so called People's Assembly of Abkhazia and Chairman of “United Abkhazia,” has harshly criticized the so called president of Russian-occupied Abkhazia, Raul Khajimba and the de facto authorities.

Shamba says the current leadership of the occupied region has failed to advance the “country” or develop it during the last four years.

“Since we gained independence, we have created a state that we never had before. We have received more freedom than we ever had. And yet we cannot benefit from this because there are incompetent people in power,” Shamba stressed.

He also noted that the “country” needs a new leader who will find a way out of the crisis.

“We are in deep crisis and if we do not get out of it, we will have to kneel and ask Georgia or Russia to allow us to join them… We need someone to improve the current situation,” he said.

Earlier in August, Shamba stated that de facto Abkhazia should start a dialogue with Georgia, adding that “Georgians are not our enemies.”

The de facto ex-PM’s statements were echoed in Tbilisi. Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze says that Shamba voiced the problems about which Georgia has been talking for years. He stated that the government of Georgia will do its best to restore trust between the people divided by the occupation line.

Kobakhidze also said it is Russia which creates artificial barriers for Georgia and breakaway Abkhazia to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Meanwhile, Vice-Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili believes that Shamba’s statements are very important but require a careful approach from the Georgian side.

"Our approach is a peaceful policy. We are trying to create an environment where the residents of the Abkhazian region will be able to develop, and I think it is clear that this is linked to the development of Georgia, and the population of Georgia and breakaway Abkhazia should realize this,” she stated.

Chugoshvili underlined that Russia will never let Abkhazia develop and succeed, adding only Georgia can give them such an opportunity.

State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says that occupied Abkhazians and Tskhinvalians [in “South Ossetia”] can preserve their language and identity only under Georgia.

According to her, the current situation in the occupied region is grave in socio-economic as well as humanitarian and human rights terms.

“We will be able to take steps that will help the population, Abkhazians and Ossetians, and improve their social, healthcare and economic situation…It is only possible with Georgia and by striving toward Europe,” the Minister explained.

Abkhazia Inform media outlet reports that the opposition parties demand the resignation of the de facto leadership.

According to the agency, the war veterans' movement Amtsakhara and other political-public unions are uniting against Khajimba and his regime.

The parties also set a plan to overcome the crisis and ensure the occupied region’s socio-economic development.

By Thea Morrison

30 August 2018 17:07