Family Says Congo-Captured Georgian Pilot Is Alive

Koba Osouaruli, brother of a Georgian pilot Soso Osorauli, who was captured by the Congolese rebels in January, 2017, says he was told his brother is alive.

Information about Osorauli’s alleged death was released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Georgia last year, while the family assures he is alive.

Koba Osorauli says his second brother arrived in Congo to find out the truth.

“When Georgian Government declared my brother dead and stopped his search operations, we did not give up and were doing our best to find Soso,” Koba Osorauli said, adding that his captured brother contacted local servicemen after everyone thought he was dead.

Koba Osorauli says they are trying to find the exact location of his brother in order to return him home.

“I think I will also go abroad. We will return my brother home,” he stated.

Osorauli’s family has many times held protest rallies asking the MFA, Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry (MOD), to create a joint task-force that will go to Congo and find out what has really happened to Osorauli.

Later the MFA said they obtained a photograph, which showed that Osorauli was dead, however, the family claimed it was not true.

The Ministry also said that despite the information received from various sources about Osorauli, it is not feasible to confirm his death.

The MFA and the MoD confirmed in February that one Georgian had been wounded and another captured after two helicopters of the Congo Air Force were shot down by rebels on January 27, 2017.

Georgia’s MoD stated that the reason for the Georgian citizens’ presence in Congo was unknown, but added that Osorauli once served in the Georgian armed forces, choosing to quit in 2015 for personal reasons.

By Thea Morrison

24 January 2018 08:28