Since it gained its independence in 1991, Georgia has been unable to resolve the separate claims to independence of two of its regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Abkhazia aspires to full independence and international recognition, while South Ossetia asks for secession from Georgia and possible integration with the Russian Federation as well as international recognition.

Georgia fought two separate intra-state conflicts with South Ossetia and Abkhazia between 1991 and 1993 in an attempt to re-assert authority over the two separatist regions. Each conflict ended with a cease-fire agreement; neither agreement resolved the separatist issues and tense relations often culminated in violent clashes despite the presence of international observers who oversaw the agreements. In Abkhazia, the UN provided an observer mission; and in South Ossetia observers came from all parties to the conflict plus Russia and North Ossetia.


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