Georgian separatist region South Ossetia accused Tbilisi on Monday of breaching a ceasefire deal by firing at its villages from an EU-monitored area, and said its forces would not hesitate to retaliate.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy brokered the deal to end August’s brief war between Russia and Georgia, but analysts say tension on the de facto border between South Ossetia and undisputed Georgian territory could spark new fighting.
Russian troops this month pulled out of areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Georgian separatist region Abkhazia in line with the ceasefire deal and allowed some 300 unarmed European Union observers and support staff into the area.
A South Ossetian official said EU monitors remained silent while Georgian forces fired at Ossetian villages.
"For a week now, Georgia has been shooting daily at the border districts of Znaur and Tskhinvali," Irina Gagloyeva, head of the separatist Press and Information Committee, told Reuters by telephone from South Ossetia’s capital Tskhinvali.
"Georgia is violating the French-brokered agreement … it has resumed its aggressive actions." She said separatist Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev had ordered "all security bodies to give an adequate response to all Georgian provocations".
"Accordingly, all Georgian firing positions will be destroyed," Gagloyeva said. "By the way, all this is happening in the presence of international monitors who — quite surprisingly to us — turn out to be blind, mute and deaf."
"We now have the impression the international community does not want to see stability here," she added.
via Reuters UK: Georgia rebels accuse EU of ignoring violence