RealNews

Georgia's rebels ready for war

Civil war in Georgia moved a step closer yesterday as rebel leader Aslan Abashidze defied a call from President Mikhail Saakashvili to disband his paramilitary supporters and submit to Tbilisi’s will. Armed groups roamed Adzharia – the fiefdom carved out by Mr Abashidze on the country’s Black Sea coast – in defiance of the ultimatum. Mr Abashidze accused the Georgian leadership of treating the Adzharian constitution as “a meaningless scrap of paper”. “Saakashvili has no levers to implement his ultimatum because Adzharia has its own constitution and its own constitutional order,” the rebel leader told the Russian television channel Rossiya. Asked by the RIA Novosti news agency how the standoff with Tbilisi might develop, he said: “We expect war.” Full Story

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