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Georgia security zones remain tense

TBILISI, Georgia, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The security situation between Georgia and the country's separatist regions and their Russian backers remains tense, according to a U.N. report.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has filed a report with the U.N. Security Council on the status of the U.N. Observer Mission in Georgia, which is responsible for monitoring the security zone and restricted weapons zone between Georgia and the separatist Abkhazia region.

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Despite ongoing U.N. patrols in the region, Ban described the situation as "precarious" and said the future of the mission's ability to operate is not clear, the United Nations reported.

Since the violent conflict between Georgia and Russia in August, officials say Russian military units remain operating in Abkhazia and are countered by an equal military presence on the Georgian side of the security zone.

"There have been a considerable number of security incidents involving casualties on both sides, and what little communication there was between the sides has largely broken down," Ban said in a statement.

"While I continue to believe that the Mission contributes to the stabilization of the situation, as a result of these developments, its position has become precarious and could rapidly become unsustainable."

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The United Nations currently has no jurisdiction in the South Ossetia separatist region, the location where the conflict between Georgia and Russia began.

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