Armenian “Hostages” of So Ossetia Turning to Kofi Annan and ROA Pres


3 Children and a Woman Taken Out of Ergneti

20 Oct 04

As the “custody” of dozens of Armenian citizens carries on in South
Ossetia, they turned to the Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan,
OSCE current chairman Solomon Pasi and presidents of Armenia and

“We, citizens of Armenia, are in a desperate situation on our way back
from Russia and ask for help. We are not allowed to continue our way
at the Ergneti police station. We have to live in a bus devoid of
primary needs. We appealto you for help. We want you to know that the
Armenian embassy’s and Armenian diocese’s efforts turned abortive. We
ask you again to help us”, the appeal reads.

Georgy Khosroev, Armenian ambassador to Georgia, informed Azg Daily
that employees of the embassy, with the support of Apaven good
transportation company and Armenian diocese, visited Armenian citizens
on Saturday for the second time bringing blankets, food, water and

Ergneti is a settlement on Georgian-South Ossetian border where
gunshots are not a rare thing. Official Tbilisi considers border
crossing of Russian-Georgian border’s South Ossetian part as
illegal. Armenianstraveling back to Armenia from Russia have to try to
cross the border on this site, as the Russian-Georgian checkpoint of
Upper Lars remains closed.

Artur Sargsian, Armenian consul to Georgia, who visited Armenians in
Ergneti together with ambassador’s aide and a priest from St. Gevorg
Armenian church, informed that state of the Armenian citizens remains
desperate, they sleep in the bus, hygienic condition is disastrous,
few children ailed and were taken to hospital. If it keeps this pace,
humanitarian crisis will be unavoidable.

The embassy keeps on negotiating with Georgian officials to take the
Armenians out of South Ossetia to Armenia. They managed to get access
for 4adults and 3 children on Saturday. President Robert Kocharian is
going to visit Georgia on October 22-24. Perhaps, the Georgian border
will open allowing dozens of Armenians to pass on the days of
President’s visit.

The information spread by few Armenian and Russian media that the
Upper Lars border crossing is open is false. Kakha Mikeladze, head of
the Northern customs of Georgia, informed that the border never opened
again after October 10, either from Georgian or Russian side.

Russian mass media informs that the crowd at the Russian side
increases. Few dozens of Russian Defense Ministry’s trucks are among
others waiting for access to reach 102 Russian military base in

By Tatoul Hakobian