Life on the boundary line

The future of security in Shida Kartli

The Shida Kartli region sits on the administrative boundary line (ABL) with South Ossetia/Tskhinvali Region. It was at the centre of hostilities during the August 2008 war. Two years after the violence, a sense of general insecurity and disquiet continues to pervade everyday life and many find it difficult to think about or invest in the future.

The parties to the conflict have yet to agree on how to provide security in the conflict-affected areas. At the same time, the international crisis response is coming to an end, bringing with it increased potential for underlying community vulnerabilities to resurface. As a result the Georgian Government faces difficult decisions regarding how to balance national security with the security needs of conflict-affected communities, while international actors need to find ways of responding to emerging vulnerabilities in a sustainable manner. This report is intended to provide additional evidence to help inform these decisions.

Saferworld conducted a household survey and focus groups discussions to anaylse the experience of communities living directly on the ABL in the Shida Kartli region. The survey, which was conducted between July and August 2010, reveals the ongoing impact of the conflict on communities along the ABL in terms of physical insecurity, depopulation and poverty. It also highlights the divergent vulnerabilities of conflict-affected communities living on the boundary line.