(Archive photo by DFWatch.)

GALI, DFWatch–A record number of people crossed Enguri bridge on New Year’s Eve this year – in both directions.

The queue spanned almost the entire length of the 1km long bridge which connects territory controlled by Georgia’s central government and breakaway Abkhazia.

“No one has seen such a thing here. The border guards say thousands of people have crossed the border. One reason may be that Georgian authorities had transferred IDPs’ allowance money. Another reason may be the issuing of ‘visas’ and perhaps also to the fact that Abkhazian passports are becoming void from January 1. People are merely trying to get hold of as much food as possible, as after the latest development they won’t be able to cross,” DFWatch was told by a Gali resident who witnessed the events.

Checkpoints accommodated the increase in traffic by having four crossings operational instead of two.