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Displaced Georgians Protest Eviction Attempt In Tbilisi

Authorities evicting displaced persons from a military building at Vake-Saburtalo road in Tbilisi on August 11.
TBILISI -- Several hundred displaced persons from the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have resisted a police attempt to evict them from a former Soviet military building in Tbilisi, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Georgian Ministry of Refugees official Mariam Esaiashvili told RFE/RL that the ethnic Georgian families -- most of whom fled fighting between Russian and Georgian forces in 2008 -- were warned one month ago to vacate the building, which they occupied without official permission.

She said all the families who are living there will receive $10,000 in compensation, adding that some of them have already been given the money.

The displaced persons say they were not given a deadline for leaving the building. Some displaced persons from Abkhazia say they were offered alternative accommodation in western Georgia but rejected it because they did not think they would be able to find work there.

At least 200,000 ethnic Georgians fled Abkhazia after the 1992-93 war between Abkhazians and Georgians.

Fighting between South Ossetian and Georgian forces in 1991-92 and Georgia's conflict with Russian forces in 2008 led to tens of thousands of Georgians being displaced.