Ousted IDPs Fear Future
21 July, 2011
Ousted IDPs Fear Future

Another operation to resettle IDPS

Another group of IDPs has just been ousted from its place of residence. Few days ago police uprooted them simultaneously from several districts of the capital. It was especially noisy at the former kindergarten #204 located in the Varketili district of Tbilisi. IDPs who lived in this defunct kindergarten till that day did not accept the alternative place of residence proposed by the Authorities because of the conditions.

It turns out that the IDPs were

offered alternative places of residence in various regions of Georgia, far away from the Capital (Lagodekhi, Chkhorotsku, Tsalka or Tsalenjikha districts). The IDPs claim these places are unacceptable for them. Now they do not know where to sleep overnight. It must be said that among the IDPs ousted from the Varketili kindergarten was one Abkhazian family too. They say they will reject Georgian citizenship and ask the de facto Abkhazia rulers for a shelter.

“I do not remember such an inhumane treatment even during the Abkhazian war,” – said the Abkhazian. “They do not care about women and children. One of the policemen kicked a pregnant girl. I remember his face very well. He had a scar on his face. They used tear gas. Then fire broke out. If it goes on this way, I will ask the Abkhazian government to give us a shelter.  Living in such conditions is unimaginable. I am so desperate now that I myself will go to Abkhazia. Imagine how torturous our lives have become if after the slavish 13–year-long life we have to turn to the Abkhazian government and ask for a shelter.”

“They suggest us to resettle in Lagodekhi, Chkhorotsku, Tsalka or Tsalenjikha districts. Earlier, Poti was also on this list but was removed later. Poti was somehow acceptable but other places are absolutely unacceptable. We were asking them to allow us at least one month but they refused,” IDPs say.

It should be noted that one of the IDPs suffered a stroke during the recent forced uprooting. They do not know where to stay overnight. “We are afraid of future already. Fight? We know that nothing will come out of fighting. It is only wasting of time, nothing else,” IDPs lamented.

It was the initiative of the Government itself to settle the IDPs in the given kindergarten in 2008. The IDPs claim that after the settlement they underwent all procedures at the public register before getting down to living there. They even approached the Mayor’s office. They visited us last year during the elections. They said they would legalize our residences to us. We do not know what has changed in one year.”

The uprooting operation involved 60 policemen. They were not Georgians. As the IDPs recall, children held candles and were praying when police discharged gas in their direction.

“IDPs want to live in Tbilisi not because it’s a comfortable city to live in. It is because in those regions they will die of hunger,” says Lasha Chkhartishvili, one of the leaders of Conservative Party who visited the IDPs.

The IDPs are offered to move to places such as Bakurtsikhe village of Gurjaani district, Lagodekhi district, Zumi and Lesichine villages of Chkhorotsku districts, Chkadua and Narazeni villages of Zugdidi district, Khobi, Abasha and Tsalenjikha districts. In all cases, they have to settle in the rooms of multi-storied buildings located some 9 km away from the villages and schools and at least 7 km away from medical stations. The IDPs say it would be a problem for them to traverse such distances every day. Moreover, they won’t be able to find jobs in such remote places. Simply, they would have nothing to eat.

The press center of the Ministry of Refuges and Resettlement keep saying more or less the same words to all media outlets: “The relevant statement can be found on our Ministry’s web site. We are not going to make additional comments.”

It is amazing to learn from the information put up on the Ministerial website that the IDPs are happily resettled in various regions of Georgia and receive further help on the ground from the Ministry, including land and its cultivation.

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