Rebel warlord Emzar Kvitsiani is trying to break through a siege laid by government forces and escape into Abkhaz-controlled territory, but “our law enforcers will hunt him down and capture him,” Giorgi Arveladze, chief of the Georgian President’s Administration, said late on July 26.
He said most of the villages in the upper Kodori Gorge are now under the control of government forces, including Sakeni, Zemo and Kvemo Omarishara, Gentsvisi and Chkhalta. The latter was a stronghold of the militia group Monadire (Hunter), led by former local official Kvitsiani.
“There are only a few areas where law enforcers are encountering resistance, including the village of Zemo Azhara,” Arveladze said.
He said two officers of the Interior Ministry have been injured in the operation. “There are no other casualties among the law enforcement agencies,” Arveladze said, but declined to comment about casualties among militia members.
Arveladze also noted that the local population of upper Kodori Gorge is closely cooperating with law enforcers.
He hailed the ongoing police operation as “very successful” and noted that Georgia has “very strong law enforcement agencies.”