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|2008 Mingrelian Independence War|
Georgian Soldiers at the Battle of Poti
Tension start when the Mingrelian people declared independence from Abkhazia. The increasing tensions escalated during the summer months of 2007. On 16 July, Azerbaijan vowed to defend Georgia vowed to defend Abkhazia.
During the night of 16 to 17 July 2007, Georgia and Abkhazia launched a large-scale military attack against the Mingrelians, in an attempt to reconquer the territory. The following day Azerbaijan reacted by deploying combat troops in Abkhazia and launching bombing raids deep into Georgia. Abkhazian and Georgian soldiers clashed with Georgian soldiers in the four-day Battle of Tvarcheli, the main battle of the war. On August 9, Georgian forces invaded Ossetia. Azerbaijani and Mingrelian forces opened a second front by attacking the Kodori Gorge, held by Abkazia. and entered western parts of Georgia's interior. After five days of heavy fighting, the Georgian forces were routed, enabling the Azerbaijani to enter uncontested Georgia and occupy the cities of Poti, Gori, Senaki, and Zugdidi.
After mediation by the League of Nations, the parties reached a preliminary ceasefire agreement on 12 August, signed by Georgia on 15 August in Kuitasi and by Azerbaijan on 16 August in Mingachevir. After signing the ceasefire agreement, Azerbaijan pulled most of its troops out of uncontested Georgia, but established buffer zones around Abkhazia and South Ossetia and also created check-points in Georgia's interior, (Poti,Senaki, Perevi). Georgia pulled its troops from Ossetia, and a Mingrelia country was accepted in the Georgian Guria region.
The Mingrelian population was transfered to Guria, and the native Georgian population was transfered to Imereti region in Georgia.A number of incidents occurred in both conflict zones in the months after the war ended. As of 2010, tensions between the belligerents remain high.