Fatima Tlisova: My voice for Abkhazia

Fatima Tlisova: My voice for Abkhazia

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:21


Georgia takes the front pages and news topics once again a year after the short but violent war last August. There are tons of analyses in the media around the world but I believe that my voice as the one who was born in the Caucasus and who reported from the region for 12 years for western media deserves to be heard.

I am not going to give any analyses or expertise. I simply have the bunch of “did you know?” and “why?” questions that I want to address to the people who make decisions.  

The “did you know?” questions are very simple but must be answered I believe.


So, did you know that ethnic Abkhazians consist only 30% of population of Abkhazia? 

Did you know that the remaining 70% shared equally by Jews and Armenians?

Did you know that the statistics of the people who died in early 90-th fighting for Freedom of Abkhazia against Georgia is similar to the ethnic picture? 
If you go to the capitol of Abkhazia Sukhum and look for the Memorial of the Heroes of Independence, you will be surprised how many Armenian, and Jewish names are written on that stone. 

Did you know how Abkhazians became ethnic minority on their land? 

Did you know that Abkhazians fought against Russian invasion for more that 150 years together with their kin Circassians?

Look for the answers in the archives of the Tsarist Russia. You will find detailed description of the most brutal mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing that contemporary scholars call genocide. 

Did you know that 99% of Abkhzians were massacred or deported to Ottoman Turkey in the end of 19 century? At that time Georgia was an ally of Russia and it was from the Georgian land that the Russian military forces attacked Abkhazia.  

Did you know that Abkhazia became part of Georgia as a gift to the Homeland by Josef Stalin, ethnic Georgian and most brutal dictator of the USSR? That simple. 

Did you know that 100% of people of Abkhazia answered ‘NO’ to the question about possible union with Russia? Which makes clear that Abkhazia will never accept Russia closer than an unwelcome ally. If Russia tries to take Abkhazia its people will be fighting on two fronts. Hopelessly enough but surely fighting for their right to live free. It is western fault that people of Abkhazia do not have any other choices except being Russian ally. 

Here comes the first of my ‘why’ questions: if the Jews and Armenians were happy with Georgian authority why did they choose to fight for Abkhazia instead of taking Georgian side?  Why did no one in the west ask a simple question: What if there is something wrong with the Georgian ethnic policies?

What do we have now? Three nations that have once undergone genocide now fighting together for their right to live free against the aggressor that strangely enough is backed up by the western nations, claimed to be the role models of the universal moral principles.  

Supporting Georgia is the duty of any democratic state, because… and here you have a long list that is more than enough to justify any action on behalf of Georgia, even War.  

But, where are the universal principles of Humanity?  What does the West share with the nations that practice brutal violence against smaller nations? Geopolitical interests? Do geopolitical interests have to remain a cemetery for moral principles in the changing world? If the answer is yes, than my last ‘why’ is very personal: why should I, the Citizen of the Planet Earth continue to believe in legitimacy of the global institutions?

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