Boris Chochiev speaks about the Joint Peacekeeeping Forces (JPKF) dissolved in 2008: It was a unique mechanism

Tue, 13/10/2009 - 10:00

A year after the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in the Zone of Georgian-Ossetian Ocnflict were dissolved and withdrawn, the Special Representative for Post-Conflict Settlement Boris Chochiev shared his memories with RES agency. He was previously representing the South Ossetian side to the Joint Control Commission (JCC).
“I can talk long about the role of the peacekeepers which were brought to the zone of Georgian-Ossetian conflict in accordance with the 1992 Dagomys Agreement”, said Boris Chochiev. “In its format and mandate, this was a unique mechanism comprised of representatives of the military contingents of the sides to the conflict and those of the mediator’s side. Throughout their joint activities, these trilateral peacekeeping forces with 500 personnel representing each side were gradually transformed into a unified mechanism. One can say that they were united by the same interests and one and the same goal. Checkpoints and posts were deployed on the territory of the conflict zone in the way that they had constant contacts with each other. Every morning each side’s representatives participated in a joint meeting. They also together participated in all big celebrations. Senior military representative of the Georgian battalion, deceased Panteleimon Georgadze had even participated in the meetings of the government. When we were celebrating the 5th anniversary of the JPKF, senior military representative and senior observer of the Georgian battalion were also standing at the rostrum. While celebrating the 10th anniversary, Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Vahtang Rcheulishvili, Georgian State Minister for Conflict Settlement Irakli Machavariani and other Georgian officials received awards from the South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity.

“The unique nature was in the fact that observers of all three contingents were serving together. They had joint groups of observers who usually went to incident spot together”, said the former Head of the South Ossetian Part of the JCC. “After Saakashvili’s seizing the power in Georgia, everything has changed. All have focused on destroying the contacts and joint mechanisms which in fact had effectively worked. Saakashvili has chosen a completely different variant – that of confrontation. The contingent of the Georgian peacekeepers rotated every month. They used their right to have here a contingent up to 500 men and had hence rotated through the mechanism the whole personnel of the Georgian Army. Instead of strengthening the contacts and ensure peace and stability in the zone of conflict, and thus, the Georgian battalion tend to be the mechanism which in 2008 became one of the implementers of Saakashvili’s adventure. The first person to announce about the beginning of war was the Senior Military Representative for the Georgian side Mamuka Kurashvili who said that they initiated “an operation on establishing constitutional order”. Georgian peacekeepers became bandits. Today, they are trying to talk about Georgia’s having good peacekeepers. In general, we always underlined the unique nature of this format, as some representatives of other countries did. EU and OSCE member states’ envoys acknowledged the effectiveness of this mechanism, where the primary role belonged to the Russian contingent. We are sure that this mechanism will receive a very positive evaluation in the future and this experience will be used in many countries”, underlined Chochiev.

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