Abkhazia prepares for conflict
Authorities in Georgia’s separatist province of Abkhazia have declared martial law, mobilized the army and called up reservists. The region fears a possible invasion by Georgian forces seeking to retake control of the republic.
Meanwhile, on Sunday Russian peacekeepers, deployed in the disputed Kodori Gorge on the Georgian-Abkhazian border, received an order to leave the area.
Abkhazia's army launched a military operation to try to force Georgian troops out of the upper part of the Kodori Gorge on Saturday. It started with the use of artillery and air strikes against Georgian forces.
Like South Ossetia, Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the early 90's and has been seeking independence.
In the war that followed, the region managed to defeat the invading Georgian army.
With fears of another invasion, Abkhazia's President Sergey Bagapsh has issued a decree putting the troops on high alert.
Meanwhile, Abkhaz residents in the upper Kodori Gorge, an area bordering Georgia, are preparing to evacuate.