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The activists occupying Abkhazia's presidential administration building are now armed

Source: Interfax

Activists in Abkhazia who stormed and occupied the separatist enclave’s presidential administration building on January 9 broke into the armory and seized firearms, Abkhazian Security Council Secretary Muhammad Kilba told the news agency Interfax.

“They broke into all the offices and stole state emblems. I’ve learned from one of the [State Guard Service] senior officials that they’ve managed to get some of the weapons back. Negotiations to return all the stolen firearms are still ongoing,” says Kilba.

Abkhazia’s Security Council says the breakaway republic’s authorities have no immediate plans to raid the presidential administration building and expel its new occupants, but they don’t rule it out in the future. “Everything depends on how the situation develops and the results of negotiations that could be held soon,” Kilba told Interfax, adding that officials are doing “everything possible” to end the building’s occupation.

On January 10, Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba’s supporters rallied to his defense in a demonstration outside the self-declared republic’s parliament. 

On January 9, protesters occupied the Abkhazian presidential administration building, demanding Raul Khajimba’s resignation. The Abkhazian Parliament later passed a motion calling on the president to step down, but Khajimba has refused.

Raul Khajimba was narrowly elected Abkhazia’s president in a runoff vote in September 2019, winning 47.39 percent against Alikhas Kvitsiniya’s 46.17 percent. Kvitsiniya is now trying to challenge the election results in court, and the Abkhazian Supreme Court is due to consider his lawsuit on January 10.