Tensions in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia are rising after Tbilisi sent troops into the sensitive Kodori gorge area. The deep river valley leads to the heart of the self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia, but is not considered to be under the control of either side.
It is feared the arrival of a reported column of 800 Georgian soldiers could re-ignite hostilities. Georgia’s two rebel regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, broke away in the early 1990s and are overseen by Russian peacekeepers. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has promised to bring them back under his government’s control. Abkhaz authorities have complained to the UN about the troop movements, and said Georgia must face the “consequences of its actions.”